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RMIT University and the International Association for Public Participation collaborate for community engagement education in new agreement

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RMIT University and the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) Australasia are delighted to announce a collaboration Agreement.

RMIT will become the first university in Australia to partner with IAP2 in such a collaboration, as both institutions recognise the opportunity to amplify community engagement as a focus in postgraduate education.

RMIT students in the Master of Communication who complete the postgraduate subject, Community and Civic Engagement, will qualify for free student membership of IAP2 Australasia, and will receive discounted rates to undertake the IAP2 Australasia Certificate in Engagement. Upon completion of that Certificate, RMIT students will automatically attain the Graduate level post-nominals of ‘GIAP2’ with no additional Continuing Professional Development (“CPD”) required for three years.

The Community and Civic Engagement subject will become the first postgraduate offering in Australia to be co-designed with the IAP2 Australasia. All students enrolled in the subject will acquire a unique mix of community engagement theory and applied practice, using IAP2’s Engagement Management Tool which details over 70 engagement methods to be used in practice, amplifying the employability of Master of Communication graduates.

This Agreement provides IAP2 Australasia members with the opportunity to continue further study in community engagement with a Master of Communication at RMIT. Subjects focusing on civic engagement, communication for social change, stakeholder relations and emergent media, as well as audience engagement and analytics, form part of the suite of Master of Communication subjects. Once enrolled, with intakes occurring twice a year, learners will work alongside a dedicated RMIT academic adviser from the Masters team to plot out a relevant study path, factoring in existing practitioner experience, focusing on community engagement.

 RMIT Dean of the School of Media and Communication, Professor Lisa French, says that the agreement establishes RMIT as a leader in community engagement in higher education, built on a relationship with IAP2 developed over many years.

 “Collaborations take time to come together and investing that time through understanding and listening – the pillars of community engagement – is always worthwhile,” Professor French says.

“We have been teaching postgraduate communication students community engagement for over a decade, long before it became a highly desirable set of knowledge and skills in employment across sectors such as construction, transport, and all levels of government.

“This collaboration fuses the critical elements of education – theory and practice – with leverage to enable those most impassioned community engagement professionals to pursue advanced study to a Masters level.

“We are so proud to be the first university in Australia embarking on this journey with IAP2 on an industry-leading project.”

IAP2 Australasia CEO, Marion Short, says the IAP2 is proud to partner with RMIT to open up advanced routes to education in community engagement.

“As Australia’s peak body for community engagement, we continue to see growth in demand for tertiary education in this space,” Short says.

“For many years we have recognised the need to offer our members and training participants an additional pathway into higher education, that we can stand beside and recognise.

“We are thrilled to be able to blend RMIT’s reputation and standing with our contemporary engagement learning framework, as part of the International Association for Public Participation.

 “This will provide what we hope to be the first of many pathways into higher education for community engagement practitioners, with the added benefit with RMIT of acquiring academic recognition for learners and a pathway to higher qualifications.”

 For more information about the program, please visit the IAP2A Tertiary Partnerships information page.