Stellenbosch University views Social Impact as the evaluable change incurred:
- through mutually beneficial associations, collaborations and partnerships between the university (staff, students and alumni), and external societal partners in government, industry and the various institutions of civil society – in local and global contexts;
- on the basis of the university's tacit knowledge, scholarly expertise and society's wisdom and experience;
- through innovative excellent practices that prioritise the active, responsible and critical citizenship of students and staff.
Social Impact can present as:
- Embedded Social Impact which refers to the integration of SI into all the academic and co-curricular practices of SU through the notion of engaged scholarship and engaged citizenship.
- Specific Social Impact which suggests that in addition to the embedded SI practice, specific coordinated, interdisciplinary and interfaculty SI initiatives are embarked upon to jointly, intentionally and explicitly to address specific societal challenges.
- Systemic impact which aims at evidence-based changes in a societal sphere that leads to increased and deepened efficiency in the system of that sphere.
View the Social Impact Strategic Plan
Social Impact vs Community Interaction
The most important distinction between Community Interaction and Social Impact is the broader and deeper focus of Social Impact.
Social impact is:
- Broader in partnerships and types of interactions;
- Deeper in going beyond outcomes to impact; and
- Provides specific development frameworks to increase relevance