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Table 1 The civic university dimensions (Goddard et al., 2016)

From: Civic universities and bottom-up approaches to boost local development of rural areas: the case of the University of Macerata



Sense of purpose

Creating an impact for society by addressing societal challenges or specific problems, both global and local.

Creating benefits to defined groups, networks and communities and considering them as co-investigators and a source for knowledge.

Active engagement

Collaboration and dialogue to achieve social and economic development goals and enhance teaching and research.

Internal collaborations: among academics in different disciplines.

External collaborations: with other public and private organisations (education institutions, governments, business and cultural organisations).

Holistic approach

Engagement is an institution-wide activity that integrates the core activity of academics and enhances teaching and research. Students may benefit of it and be involved with the local community to improve knowledge, employability opportunities and active citizenship.

Sense of place

The civic university is well integrated within the territorial tissue where it is located: the place is a “living laboratory” providing specific opportunities to develop the work and impact.

Willingness to invest

Projects are built up to enhance the impact of research in universities beyond the academy and campus, by involving the academic and working staff in activities funded with internal or external resources.

Transparent and accountable

Civic responsibility: indicators and benchmarks to assess the performances, clear communication of its mission and vision and impact to stakeholders.

Innovative methodologies

Innovative methodologies and approaches to tackle societal challenges such as social innovation and entrepreneurship programs and collaborations among academics and academic and other organisations.