University and Society
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University and Society

Interdependencies and Exchange

Edited by Ágnes Kövér and Gaby Franger

What role can the university play in the broader community or society in which it is embedded? Must it remain segregated in the halls of science and knowledge, which tower above the community? This book examines the growing number of questions and concerns around university-community relations by exploring widely accepted theories and practices and placing them under new light.
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Chapter 3: University student volunteering for development: towards a critical approach

Nichole Georgeou and Benjamin Haas


This chapter explores international volunteering for development (V4D) with respect to students at Australian universities. It first introduces literature around V4D and its relationship to civil society, the traditional realm of understanding volunteering. It then explores the policy environment in which Australian universities operate, focusing on the rise and growth of student mobility, the different types of student volunteering for development (SV4D) operations, and how these interactions defy a simple categorisation. The chapter proposes a theoretical framework of reciprocity and exchange as a means of assessing SV4D operations, and argues that Australian university SV4D programmes fall short of this reciprocity, leading to the perpetuation of patterns of public pedagogy that reinforce existing binaries of needy others who require assistance.

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