What happened when one of Canada’s largest research-intensive universities reached out
to the country’s poorest urban neighbourhood?
The founding Director of the UBC Learning Exchange reflects on what she learned and what she still wonders about.
Why would a large, research-intensive university bother trying to make connections to a poor, marginalized community? Isn’t the gap between these two environments too wide to cross? Or do they have some things in common?
How did the Learning Exchange go from being an initiative that local people resisted to a place they now describe as a refuge? How did Community Service Learning become a strategic priority for UBC? What challenges were faced and how were they overcome?
How does social marginalization happen and what can be done about it? What was innovative about the Learning Exchange? How can people learn to be effective social change agents? What questions still need to be considered?
Read Margo Fryer’s blog on community-university engagement, first published by University Affairs. Topics include how to build relationships between people from different work cultures and how to educate global citizens.