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CQUniversity first in Australia to be inducted into Ashoka U

Published:07 March 2017

CQUniversity was officially inducted as an Ashoka U Changemaker Campus at the Ashoka U Exchange conference in Miami, March 2017

CQUniversity has been officially inducted as an Ashoka U Changemaker Campus - making it the first university in Australia to be granted the accreditation.

Ashoka U is an initiative of Ashoka, the world’s largest network of social entrepreneurs, and builds on Ashoka’s vision for a world where everyone is a Changemaker. Ashoka U, made up of only 36 other high-profile education institutions across the world, collaborates with each of its members to break down barriers to institutional change and foster a campus-wide culture of social innovation.

CQUniversity Vice-Chancellor Professor Scott Bowman was in Miami where the Ashoka U Exchange took place and says he was excited to accept the honour in front of hundreds of fellow ‘Changemakers’ from across the globe.

“I am absolutely thrilled to be the first university in Australia to be granted the Changemaker accreditation,” says Professor Bowman.

“The energy and investment that CQUniversity is making in social innovation is a natural extension to the University’s values of inclusiveness and engagement, and our mission to create connections across our local, national and international footprint.”

Professor Bowman was joined in Miami by 10 fellow CQUniversity colleagues as well as 11 CQUniversity students who were awarded scholarships to attend the Ashoka U Exchange, proving the university’s commitment to the social innovation agenda.

“These students are based across our University’s footprint from all walks of life, but come together with the same vision and goal to become social entrepreneurs,” Professor Bowman says.

“Their goal now, along with ours as educators, is to take what we have learnt from the conference and embed social innovation in all that we do.”

Educational institutions can make a substantial social impact by developing the social innovation mindset and skillset in a new generation, by giving students the practical experiences and intellectual tools to release the capacity which exists within them, to change society for the better.

And CQUniversity is already doing just that.

“Social innovation is about empowering and educating our students, staff and communities to seek novel solutions to complex social problems. Every day, CQUniversity aims to make the vision of social innovation a reality by facilitating activities, transferring knowledge and nurturing ideas,” Professor Bowman says.

“Whether that’s by being a pioneer in the delivery of distance education in providing access to learning to thousands of people living in regional and remote communities who wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity, by piloting the regional social innovation incubator, sending large cohorts of students to Nepal on Engineers without Borders or conducting socially innovative research - CQUni is committed to social innovation.”