Community Interaction
Welcome to Stellenbosch University






"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​


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