Australian Catholic University earns
historic Carnegie Classification 

Australian Catholic University has become one of the first Australian higher education institutions to receive the new Carnegie Community Engagement Classification. The historic announcement makes ACU one of the first universities outside the United States to receive this significant Classification, which was formally implemented in Australia in June this year.

The Classification recognizes ACU as a higher education leader in institutionalized community engagement, committed to working with the community to transform society. Established by the US-based Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, the Carnegie Classifications have been used to recognize and advance the community-engaged practices of higher education institutions. The Community Engagement accreditation is an elective classification describing the collaboration between higher education institutions and their larger communities for the mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources in a context of partnership and reciprocity.

Community Engagement at ACU encompasses activities and initiatives that build capacity and affirm human dignity through sustainable and reciprocal collaborations with communities, especially those that have historically experienced disadvantage or marginalization. ACU undergraduate students participate in Community Engagement opportunities as part of the Core Curriculum. ACU staff can also apply to work with community organizations on research projects that address real-world challenges and opportunities. They can additionally apply to receive up to 35 hours of time release throughout the years to participate in approved community engagement activities. Other community engagement initiatives at ACU include the Clemente program, the award-winning Solomon Islands Initial Teacher Immersion Program, extensive and sustained multi-disciplinary programs in Timor Leste, and the Order of Malta and ACU Community Hub in Melbourne.

ACU Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Zlatko Skrbis said ACU’s successful Carnegie Classification was a momentous achievement for the university. “ACU is delighted to be one of the first Australian universities in the history of the Carnegie Foundation to receive the Community Engagement Classification,” Professor Skrbis, who is also the President of SACRU, said. “As a national university –with an overseas campus in Rome- ACU serves and works closely in at least ten local communities connected to our campuses and leadership centers. The Carnegie Classification reaffirms our commitment to working with these communities and partner organizations to improve the lives of members living in our communities and to take on research that serves the common good.”