"Community engagement enables a new kind of science that is unapologetically geared to solving real world problems. When it comes to challenges like poverty and sustainability, the research problems are almost always unstructured and usually change during the course of the research project. This means a method must be co-produced by the community and the researcher, resulting in contextual co-produced knowledge rather than 'evidence-based' knowledge owned by science and consumed by society."
Professor Mark Swilling, Researcher: Stellenbosch University
achieves its vision through sustained transformation and on its journey of
discovery through academia in the service of the stakeholders to: “…align our
research with a wide-ranging spectrum of challenges facing the world, Africa,
our country and the local community… establish and extend synergistic networks
in which the University is a dynamic partner…”
Community Interaction as a core function of the University exists to nurture and manage partnerships with communities; facilitate cooperation between the University and communities and provide the means whereby both parties can actively discover knowledge, teach and learn from each other.
There are multiple benefits for lecturers, researchers, students and administrative staff who enhance the quality and outputs of their work through community engagement.
" …[W]hat I have learned…all stakeholders (students, staff, community, service agencies, higher education institutions) have input into the module and it cannot be designed in a clinical academic manner…the curriculum should be innovative and reflect a pedagogy that encourages transformation…"
Ms Pamela Kierman, Lecturer: Stellenbosch University
" I have become a better person. It helped me to see things differently and gave me a different view of life and how to engage with a person."
Engineering Student: Stellenbosch University
- Changing and enhancing your research practice.
- Changing and enhancing your teaching and learning practice.
- Positively impacting the learning, research and life experience of your students.
- Personal growth as a lecturer and/or researcher.
- Having an immediate and long-term impact on the lives and livelihoods of individuals and communities
There is a Rector's Award for Community Interaction
Access to Ad-Hoc funding opportunities
Enhanced Performance Evaluations
Contributing to your department/faculty's Strategic Management Indicator
Opportunities to get involved
View community asset and needs assessment profiles
- Contact the DCI
- Speak to your faculty representative
- Attend a Community Interaction Community of Practice forum
- Attend a Schools Initiative Conversation Forum
- View details of existing projects and project owners