CDU joins 'Talloires Declaration' on the civic roles and social responsibilities of universities 


Charles Darwin University (CDU) has joined a host of higher education institutions from around the world in signing the ‘Talloires Declaration on the Civic Roles and Social Responsibilities of Higher Education’. The Declaration was first signed at a conference in Talloires, France in September 2005 attended by university presidents, rectors and vice-chancellors from 29 countries.

The Talloires Declaration is based on an understanding that universities, “bear a special obligation to contribute to the public good, through educating students, expanding access to education, and the creation and timely application of new knowledge. Our institutions recognize that we do not exist in isolation from society, nor from the communities in which we are located. Instead, we carry a unique obligation to listen, understand and contribute to social transformation and development. Higher education must extend itself for the good of society to embrace communities near and far. In doing so, we will promote our core missions of teaching, research and service”.

The Talloires Declaration is a commitment to:

  • Expand civic engagement and social responsibility programs in an ethical manner, through teaching, research and public service.
  • Embed public responsibility through personal example and the policies and practices of our higher education institutions.
  • Create institutional frameworks for the encouragement, reward and recognition of good practice in social service by students, faculty, staff and their community partners.
  • Ensure that the standards of excellence, critical debate, scholarly research and peer judgment are applied as rigorously to community engagement as they are to other forms of university endeavor.
  • Foster partnerships between universities and communities to enhance economic opportunity, empower individuals and groups, increase mutual understanding and strengthen the relevance, reach and responsiveness of university education and research.
  • Raise awareness within government, business, media, charitable, not-for-profit and international organizations about contributions of higher education to social advancement and wellbeing. Specifically, establish partnerships with government to strengthen policies that support higher education through civic and socially responsible efforts. Collaborate with other sectors in order to magnify impacts and sustain social and economic gains for our communities.
  • Establish partnerships with primary and secondary schools, and other institutions of further and higher education, so that education for active citizenship becomes an integral part of learning at all levels of society and stages of life.
  • Document and disseminate examples of university work that benefit communities and the lives of their members.
  • Support and encourage international, regional and national academic associations in their efforts to strengthen university civic engagement efforts and create scholarly recognition of service and action in teaching and research.
  • Speak out on issues of civic importance in our communities.
  • Establish a steering committee and international networks of higher education institutions to inform and support all their efforts to carry out this Declaration.

Al CDU staff, including VET lecturers, currently practicing or planning workplace learning, service learning, multidisciplinary teaching and learning or community-based participatory action research that contribute to the social good are encouraged to document your contribution to the Talloires Declaration.

The Talloires Declaration will help guide discussions in the current community engagement consultation. For further information please contact Linda Cuttriss, Coordinator Community Engagement on 8946 6336 or email

The full Talloires Declaration is at:

by Linda Cuttriss