The growing complexity of Chilean society demands Universities to have more interaction with its natural, social, economic, productive and cultural surroundings, as well as being capable of facing the challenges associated to new social and economic demands present in the national public agenda.
Universidad Andrés Bello recognizes the importance of Community Engagement as a key role of higher education, considering it a substantive expression of its social responsibility integrated throughout the set of university endeavors. In this sense, the Institution gains importance by contributing to the development of people, institutions and territories in the country, through two main roles:
- Keeping a significant, permanent interaction of mutual benefit with the main public, private and social actors – horizontal and bidirectional, – held on shared spaces from their corresponding local, regional, national or international environment.
- Contributing to the sense, enrichment and feedback of quality and pertinent criteria for teaching and research activities in the Institution, in relation to their respective thematic area.
Based on this, the University adheres fully to the definition from the National Accreditation Commission (CNA), and to the best national and international practices, hence, understanding Community Engagement as: “Set of alliances established with the disciplinary, artistic, technological, productive or professional environment, with the purpose of improving the performance of institutional tasks, facilitate the academic and professional development of the institution members as well as their update or further education, or fulfilling the institutional objectives”. In accordance to this definition, the University has defined as main aspects of its Community Engagement Policy, the following elements:
- The Establishment of Community Engagement Instruments within UNAB.
- The Commitment of other essential tasks at UNAB (especially teaching and research) in the generation of relevant relationships with the surroundings.
- The active identification of actors in the relevant external environment with whom to interact.
- The generation of meaningful impacts, both at an institutional level as well as in their external area of influence.
It will be the responsibility of the Directorate General for Community Engagement and its Committees, to coordinate and control the development of this Policy, consolidating the criteria for the design, planning, systematization and communication of the activities, programs and projects in this area.
Description of Policy
The University has established the following purposes and objectives for its Community Engagement:
- To consolidate the interaction between UNAB and its social, economic, productive and cultural surroundings.
- To collaborate in the Teaching-Learning Process underpinned in the Learning at UNAB guidelines defined in the Institutional Educational Model, enhancing the student-centered curricular activities and the option to exercise their capacity to apply the knowledge through practices, simulations and case solutions.
- To enhance the development of specific policies and actions that allow to ensure feedback from the external environment, both functional and territorial, in the permanent update of graduation profiles from all courses of study and pertinence of the programs offered at UNAB.
- To enhance the development of alliances for the analysis of the environment, both in the disciplinary field (Faculties) and territorial field (Schools and Campuses). Both in the disciplinary and territorial spheres, UNAB must know and take into consideration the requirements of specialized human capital, in accordance to the development of each sectoral area, to achieve pertinence in its education offer in relation to the existing real needs.
- To develop effective international relationships, enabling the identification and integration of the discipline state of the art into the academy, hence, strengthening the educational model, and establishing cooperation alliances and agreements to conduct research activities at a global level, enhance collaboration networks and promote international mobility.
- To establish permanent and participative relationships with organisms and institutions that have as its aim to develop or deliver instruments for the promotion of production in the private sector, acting as a bridge between the needs of the productive sector and the interests of the public sector on the matter.
- To establish permanent and cross-sectoral bonds with the private world in its different expressions – organized civil society, sectoral union organizations with an economic and productive relevance (local and national), and all actors considered necessary to know the requirements of these organizations, – with the purpose of establishing joint development programs for initiatives that are relevant both to society and UNAB.
- To ensure that the Community Engagement policies, activities, programs and projects have enough resources to achieve their goals.
In accordance to the set-out purposes, the institutional strategic mandate is complemented by the following specific objectives:
- To promote and manage the fullest possible development of activities related to the needs and potentialities of the environment based on a defined policy.
- To increase coverage and internal impact of the Community Engagement activities as well as their contribution to the comprehensive and professional formation of students.
- To achieve a greater impact on the surroundings and areas of interest.
Areas and Groups of Interest
The University has identified its areas and groups of interest, considering the Institution’s purposes in terms of Community Engagement, the desired internal impacts, the intended external impacts, and the relevant surrounding identified in the CE model:
People, Communities and Civil Organizations
It refers to the relationship focused in the development of people, communities and organized civil organizations. In this area of interest, the interaction with the following groups is emphasized:
- People: Individuals that approach the Institution or are visited by it based on their specific needs to become direct beneficiaries of any of the community engagement activities, programs or projects available, without these beneficiaries necessarily having to belong to an organized group or institution.
- Residents from the communes and areas near the sphere of influence of Campuses and Schools: Community that, given its geographical proximity to the Institution, benefits in a privileged manner from the community engagement activities, programs and projects.
- School Communities: Group of people participating from a specific educational environment in Chile, primary or secondary education, comprised of students, former students, teachers, executives, administrative staff, parents and/or guardians.
- UNAB Former Students: All graduate students that have successfully finished any course of study at Universidad Andrés Bello, and who, from that moment on, become part of UNAB alumni community.
- Civil Organizations: Different forms of association, independent from State and market, with the goal of expressing opinions, influence decision making processes, and grant services in areas or fields not always cared for by other actors with the required depth and dedication. Civil society organizations are characterized for being private, voluntary, non-profit and for making their own decisions. They mainly influence functional community organizations, neighborhood councils or community unions, which includes organizations as diverse as folklore groups, housing committees, sports clubs, parent centers, rotary clubs and others.
It comprises the relationship with State, local, regional, national or international public organisms. In this area, the interaction with the following groups is emphasized:
- Public regional organisms: It comprises Regional Intendancies, Provincial Governments, Municipalities, Communal Councils, Municipal Corporations, and so on. Some examples include agreements with the Municipalities of Huechuraba, Santiago, Estación Central, Lo Barnechea, San Miguel, Quilpué, San Bernardo, Viña del Mar, Quillota, Coinco, and others; or the alliances with the Municipal Corporations of Calera de Tango, Valparaíso, Viña del Mar, Quilpué, Peñalolén, among many others.
- Public national organizations: It comprises Organisms from the State of Chile, including national defense organisms, with which engagement activities, programs and projects are developed after collaboration agreements are signed, such as with: the Ministry of the Environment, Ministry of National Assets, Ministry of Transportation and Communications, Ministry of Education, Ministry of the Interior and Public Security, National Commission for the Environment, Chilean Nuclear Energy Commission, National Traffic Safety Commission and the Chilean Army, among many other.
- State Universities: It includes all State Universities with which UNAB has conjointly conducted Community Engagement activities, programs or projects, which in some cases have made possible the generation of mutual benefit alliances that have been established through collaboration agreements. Some examples include: Universidad de la Frontera, Universidad de Santiago de Chile, Universidad de Valparaíso, Universidad de Talca, Universidad de Tarapacá, Universidad Arturo Prat, Universidad de Chile, and others.
- Engagement with public international organizations: It comprises public international Organisms and Institutions. Some examples of this collaboration are those made possible through alliances with Embassies (such as that of Hungary, Italy, Canada, Japan, and others), Public International Universities and even the United States Army.
It considers the relationship with private institutions, for-profit or non-profit, of a productive nature and/or of services. In this area, the interaction with the following groups is emphasized:
- Private companies and organizations: It includes private law organizations in all areas of industry as well as non-profit private organizations such as foundations.
- Private associations, Consortia, Unions, Associations and/or Corporations: With which UNAB conjointly participates and conducts activities, programs and projects, such as, ASIVA, CChC, CRCP, CPCC, CCS, ASIMET, ACHS, the Innovation club, and many others.
- Private Universities: It includes all private universities with which UNAB has conjointly conducted Community Engagement activities, programs or projects, which have generated mutual benefit alliances established through collaboration agreements. Some examples are: Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Universidad Tecnológica de Chile INACAP, Universidad Técnica Federico Santa María, Universidad Católica del Maule, Universidad Finis Terrae, Universidad de Concepción, Universidad Austral de Chile, and others.