CE SYMPOSIUM 2021: Call for abstracts

RCE SYMPOSIUM 2021: Call for abstracts
RCE SYMPOSIUM 2021: Call for abstracts

Rhodes University Community Engagement in collaboration with Durban Univerisity of Technology's annual symposium will take place once again in 2021, adapting an exciting blended (online and in-person) format!

The 2021 Symposium, "The role of Community Engagement in the reimagination of higher education during and post the Covid 19 Pandemic," addresses very relevant and pressing concerns relating to Community Engagement and similar institutions across the globe. 

Higher education is currently based on an economic foundation that has been severely challenged and shaken by COVID 19. The pandemic has clearly shown that the current education system which educates for certainty is unable to cope with the uncertainty caused by the pandemic. Importantly, the pandemic has highlighted the need for all of us to be socially responsible-to take care of ourselves and care for others-be responsible for ourselves and be responsible for others. The current discourse on the re-imagination of higher education reflects the lexicon of CE-for example, the purpose of HEIs is for the public good; social and civic responsibility; care and compassion; community development.

Call for abstracts

You are invited to submit abstracts under the following themes and sub-themes:

Theme 1: CE’s contribution to the re-imagination of higher education

This theme recognises that higher education has to be reimagined and that CE has a critical role to play in the re-imagination\transformation of higher education.


i) Shifting paradigms from the economistic to the developmental

ii) Student Social Responsibility: Educating for life and for a living - what challenges

iii) Understanding University Social Responsibility for the public good in the SA context


Theme 2: Rethinking Community Engagement during the COVID-19 pandemic and post pandemic

This theme focuses on Community Engagement and recognises that CE requires rethinking during the pandemic and more so after the pandemic.

Sub themes:

i) Examining CE responses during the pandemic

ii) CE post pandemic: unlearning and relearning; educating for uncertainty, resilience and antifragility

iii) Rethinking implementation of the various forms of CE: Volunteerism; SL and Engaged Research in times of uncertainty


Theme 3: Community Engagement Perspectives: Sustainable Development during and post the Covid 19 Pandemic

i) The Impact of Covid 19 pandemic on sustainable development

ii) Recovery, mitigation and preparedness

iii) Moving from a welfarist to a developmental approach

Presentation Formats:
  • Research Papers
  • Posters
  • Storytelling
  • Workshops
  • Performance piece
  • Language: English, IsiXhosa and Afrikaans contributions welcome.


Abstract format: title, name of contributors, presentation format (powerpoint, poster, workshop, etc.), a short summary of what you would like to do (300 words Max)

Abstract Deadline: 09 August 2021, 17:00 (300 words)

Submit your abstracts by clicking here.

Symposium details

Symposium Fees: Face to face Registration R2,000, special rate for students and partners R1,200. Virtual registration R800 for academic staff and R500 for

students and partners. Contact 046 603 7229 for more information.


Rhodes University and Durban University of Technology will be offering short courses during the week (more information about the courses on the registration form):

• Digital Storytelling

• Introduction to Volunteer Programme development for HEIs

• Re-envisioning Higher Education through an Integral Education lens

If you are interested in any of the courses, please let us know in the registration form. If you have any questions about the courses, please contact j.bezerra@ru.ac.za.


2021 Symposium call for abstracts