Universities play a critical role in communities by means of community engagement which is considered a corner stone activity of higher institutions. One of the three focal areas on the University of South Africa’s (Unisa) 2015 agenda for transformation is the community engagement policy, expressed as "Towards the African university in the service of humanity". This article illuminates aspects of Unisa’s community engagement policy by way of two successfully completed community engagement projects. The first example consisted of a qualitative study which was undertaken at a special school in Gauteng, for learners with severe intellectual disabilities (SID). A “Learn not to Burn” mainstream curriculum was adapted to make it accessible for learners with SID. The results led to further community engagement activities. The second example relates to a qualitative, ethnographic study conducted in a rural area in Kwa-Zulu Natal with children with physical disabilities (CWPDs), exploring the negative influences of the rural community on them. Bronfenbrenner’s bio-ecological systems theory was used to underpin the research. Ultimately the latter research led to an envisaged community engagement project. Based on the outcomes of the two successfully executed community research projects, we propose guidelines and success indicators for future university community engagement projects.
|Subjects||Education, Scientific Disciplines|
|Journal Section||Research Articles|
|Thanks||Dr M. Kempen Principal at the school where the LNTB project was executed.|
|Publication Date||December 1, 2014|
|Published in Issue||Year 2014, Volume 1, Issue 2|