University of the Free State Integrated Transformation Plan (ITP) Project

The University of the Free State’s Integrated Transformation Plan (ITP) funds this project. It undertaken by two researchers- Ntimi Mtawa from the HEHD research group of the University of the Free State and Pablo Del Monte of the University of Waikato, New Zealand. The project aims to respond to the ITP imperatives related to decolonisation and democratisation of knowledge/s as well as contribution to the public good in and through community engagement. The project focuses on using Qualitative Impact Assessment Protocol (QuIP) to conduct impact assessment of Community engagement (CE)/engaged scholarship (ES) impact. The aim of the project is to assess the impact of selected community engagement project/programme on students and external communities. The QuIP approach would contribute to enhancing the relevance of CE/ES projects to students and community members in terms of skills and values and capacity to access and contribute to knowledge and utilisation. This is within the broader realm, of epistemic justice, common good and socially embedded learning and student experience. The project aims to yield several publication, policy brief and stimulate debate about the impact of community engagement within and beyond universities’ boundaries. It also intends to propose a more nuanced and expansive framework and methodology of assessing community engagement projects in an inclusive and equitable fashion.

Reparative futures: the contributions of legal practitioners, university-based legal education and the law to a dignified and equal society


Funded through the SARCHI-NRF research grant, this qualitative research project seeks to explore the following questions:

  1. What contributions can the law, legal education in universities and legal practitioners make to a better South Africa, and to a society which operationalizes freedoms, equality and in order to ‘repair’ past injustices?
  2. What specific role can higher education (legal degree) and university-based legal aid clinics play in this?
  3. Which professional capabilities and functionings do candidate attorneys have reason to value, and what are the conditions of possibility for their agency towards transformative change?

The research team comprises Melanie Walker and Christopher Rawson both based at the UFS. 

The methods comprise: 1) desk-based research; and 2) in-depth qualitative interviews with 14 volunteer candidate attorneys at five different university-based legal aid clinics We are interested in the biographies of people who choose to be lawyers, who see law as a means to contributing to a better South African future, and the part played by their university education and training.

The research will be of interest to Law faculties, students and higher education researchers and policy-makers.




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