Service Learning

Global pressure of transforming the higher education context has resulted in various responses. One such response has been the development of a new social contract between universities and society.  This calls for universities to become more responsive through teaching, learning and research to the wider community. Service-Learning is a response to this call; hence the Council on Higher Education recommends that service-learning be seen as part of a new social contract between the university and society. 'Service-learning is entrenched in a discourse that proposes the development and transformation of higher education in relation to community needs' (CHE, 2006).

Continued strong collaboration between CHERTL and Community Engagement (CE) Directive has resulted in the steady increase of service learning courses offered in the University, while still continuing to support existing courses. The Allan Gray Centre for Leadership Ethics (AGCLE) under the directorship of Professor Pedro Tabensky hosted the CHERTL Roundtable Series on Critical Issues in Higher Education. In June the theme focused on Community Engagement. The aim of the Roundtable was to critically examine the idea of (CE). How should we understand it? Relatedly, what are its purposes in light of the proper aims of Higher Education (HE)? What is the proper fit between CE and HE? The overall aim of the Roundtable was to help give a general picture of what CE is and on how to implement it. With the guiding question being how should HE institutions relate to society at large?

The three day event (11-14 June) attracted nationally well respected academics, university administrators and contributors to the field of community. Professor Nives Tapia from the Latin American Centre for Service-Learning (CLAYSS) was the international keynote speaker. Twelve compelling, academically robust presentations where thoroughly engaged with over the three day period.  

Professor Tapia extended her time on campus facilitating service-learning workshops for academics. Drawing on her experience and work on comparative analysis of conceptual understanding of service-learning in Latin America while drawing on parallels to Southern African context.


Last Modified: Tue, 30 May 2017 11:29:43 SAST