Susanne Martikke, Andrew Church and Angie Hart from our Social Context group have written a report on community partner and academic experiences of working together based on the findings of their research with people working in community-university partnerships across the UK. The research was co-produced by the Greater Manchester Centre for Voluntary Organisation (GMCVO) and the University of Brighton.
The findings of this study suggest that successful community-university partnerships have a set of characteristics that include the following:
- Partners accept that partnership working is an ongoing learning experience
- Partners manage to re-frame differences into an opportunity, rather than an obstacle
- Partners make an effort to become aware of power dynamics underlying their community-university partnership and take practical steps to address these
- Partners pay attention to the social aspect of the community-university partnership, for example incorporate opportunities to interact socially into the activities of the CUP. This recognizes the importance of those involved in community-university partnerships getting on at a personal level in order to perform their roles successfully
- Partners play to each other’s strengths and acknowledge that equity and fairness in community-university partnerships are compatible with different levels of involvement by different partners and, if applicable, varying levels of involvement over the course of a community-university partnership
- Partners choose a level of formality appropriate to their mission.
Download the Full Report or our Executive Summary.
Read about the background to this report: The Social Context.