Australia's first Changemaker University for Social Innovation

Published:23 March 2016

CQUniversity, the first Australian university to join Ashoka U.

The world’s largest and most eminent association of social entrepreneurs – Ashoka U – has confirmed that an Australian university has finally joined its global consortium of institution-led social change.

The Ashoka U phenomenon, which seeks social change through education, innovation and entrepreneurialism, has today announced CQUniversity Australia as the first university member in Australia (and only the second within the Asia Pacific Region). 

The announcement comes following a rigorous two year selection process that assessed CQUniversity’s social innovation credentials, plans and corporate values. 

“We have never cared to be like the other universities – we have always sought social impact, altruism and civic contribution ahead of prestige and exclusivity," CQUniversity Vice-Chancellor Prof Scott Bowman said.

“We have always been engineers of profound social change. CQUniversity works with students from the poorest, most disadvantaged, most isolated backgrounds and equips them with both the education and philosophy needed to bring change to their communities – whether that’s in Melbourne, Mt Isa, or Mumbai.

“It is the sheer boldness and creativity of our approach to education that gives CQUniversity its identity, and it is simply extraordinary that we have captured the imagination of the Ashoka U network of Changemaker Campuses.

“Put simply, social innovation is about helping students to answer the question ‘How can I change the world?’ The solution requires entrepreneurialism, innovation, creativity and audacity to do things differently,” Prof Bowman said.

This sentiment is shared by the Ashoka U group, with its co-founder and executive director, Marina Kim saying: “The educational goals of students are changing and every student should get the chance to acquire the skills necessary to make a difference in the world.” 

The Ashoka U Changemaker Campus consortium is a dynamic, global network of leading colleges and universities who commit to advancing social innovation at their campus and beyond. Over the last five years, more than 25 colleges and universities from around the world have become Changemaker Campuses, including Brown, Duke, Dublin City University, Arizona State, the University of Maryland, and the Singapore Management University.

Social Innovation at CQUni: .

Ashoka U glossary: .