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A chapter submission by Talloires Network Executive Director Lorlene Hoyt and Program Manager Amy Newcomb Rowe, titled “National, Regional, and Global Networks for University Community Engagement”, was recently published in The Cambridge Handbook of Service Learning and Community Engagement. This chapter highlighted the purpose and functions of the Talloires Network as both a global community of engaged universities, but also as a catalyst for both regional and national networks committed to community engagement and service learning.

Focusing on eight different networks from every region of the world, Hoyt and Newcomb Rowe emphasize how many linkages form out of national policy reforms or socioeconomic crises, encouraging solidarity and the eventual formation of formal networks. From the emergence of such groups come mutual experience, joint training, and knowledge and resource sharing that enable greater capacity for making change.

The eight networks referenced in the chapter reflect the diversity represented around the world in terms of size, formation, and approach to implementing change. Nevertheless, they each demonstrate the pervasive belief that universities can and should play a more active role in promoting community engagement, service learning, and socially beneficial research. The eight referenced networks are:

  1. Campus Compact (USA)
  2. Latin American Center for Service Learning (Based in Argentina)
  3. Engagement Australia
  4. Campus Engage (Ireland)
  5. Ma’an Arab University Alliance for Civic Engagement (Based in Egypt)
  6. South African Higher Education Community Engagement Forum
  7. AsiaEngage (Based in Malaysia)
  8. Pakistan Chapter of the Talloires Network

This particular contribution suggests that the next step in network growth and interaction should promote greater south-north dialogue and cooperation. Bringing up the problematic reality that much of higher education publications on community engagement come from the global north, this chapter encourages networks to seek out knowledge about practices, principles, and successes from the global south. This is especially imperative given the global south’s general concern for widespread social benefits in contrast to the global north’s typical focus on individual returns. These topics and ideas are part of the themes of our upcoming global conference in Veracruz, Mexico – our first network-wide gathering in Latin America.

In total, The Cambridge Handbook of Service Learning and Community Engagement includes chapters from 13 Talloires Network signatory member universities, reflecting a wide spectrum of university experience. These are:

  1. Wagner College
  2. Pitzer College
  3. Rutgers University – Newark
  4. George Washington University
  5. Australian Catholic University
  6. University of San Francisco
  7. Syracuse University
  8. University of North Carolina – Greensboro
  9. University of Minnesota
  10. California State University Monterey Bay
  11. Bates College
  12. Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis
  13. Tufts University

The Cambridge Handbook is available for purchase on the Cambridge University Press website.