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UNIVERSITY SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY AND LEARNING COMMUNITIES

T. de Dios, S. Muñoz

Universidad Francisco de Vitoria (SPAIN)
For most companies in the western world, CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) is an important management tool used for several purposes: to obtain greater benefits for all stakeholders; procure a positive corporate image through the expedient communication of social projects, and to maximise market responsiveness in order to increase the business value.

Against this backdrop, it is clear that the university must make use of CSR in a particular way. A socially responsible university incorporates the principles of Social Responsibility in both its business activities and its educational objectives and can transmit them as an engine of change for future professionals. University Social Responsibility (USR) has the potential to be one of the most effective and efficient engines of social transformation, if it can be applied from the perspective of the ethical principles that must underpin it. The commitment of each person, whatever their relationship to the university (students, teachers, administrative or service personnel, academics, social agents, employees, etc.), is crucial for outlining a medium- to long-term USR strategy. The consolidation of the university as a sustainable organisation will be facilitated if stakeholders exhibit socially responsible behaviour.

Several different aspects (Vallaeys, 2009) must be integrated into the implementation of a Socially Responsible University project. Firstly, the commitment of the university community (management, teachers and administration and services staff) must be assured, in order to then organise a team to drive performance which would carry out a self-diagnosis by developing and using methodologies that reflect the perceptions of the internal actors (qualitative indicators), measuring performance results (quantitative indicators), and analysing the expectations of stakeholders outside the university (opinions and suggestions). Finally, the results obtained must be compared with the university’s mission and vision: its intentions (what the university wants to be); perceptions (what the university believes itself to be, and the image that its members have of it); results (what the university is and does, the actions and results), and, finally, expectations (what society expects of it, the desires and opinions of its external audiences).

This paper presents the Universidad Francisco de Victoria’s trajectory during its SRU development over the last five years, beginning with a reminder of the self-diagnosis carried out in 2012, examining the professional development of the teachers and the teaching-learning processes of the students, analysing its impact on the different actors within the university, and contrasting the results with the current university mission. The methodology used is descriptive in some areas of the trajectory analysis, and uses quantitative (questionnaires) and qualitative (discursive) analysis in others.