PROJECT LEAD: Dr Ntimi Mtawa



Title of the project:  Technological and epidemiological changes: Opportunities for New frontiers of Engaged Scholarship

Description of the project:

This is a two-year research project funded by NRF. It describes and explores technological and epidemiological changes as new frontiers of the field of university-engaged scholarship. The project explores how technological and epidemiological changes are shaping the relationship between universities and multiple constituents within the broader realm of engaged scholarship and implications thereof. The project specifically looks at:

  1. Impact of Covid-19 pandemic on engaged scholarship
  2. Impact of Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) and other emerging technologies on engaged scholarship
  3. Practical and policy implications for universities in general and engaged scholarship in particular in the wake of Covid-19 and 4IR

The broader aim of the project is to (i) generate evidence on universities’ capacities to adapt to new realities; (ii) demonstrate in/ability of university to harness and tap into engaged scholarship in responding to technological and epidemiological change; and (iv) highlight implications for university engaged scholarship. Central to the project is the exploration of the adaptation and embodiment mechanisms between previously disadvantaged and advantaged universities.

Theoretically, the project approaches engaged scholarship from the Capability Approach (CA) at the interface of Covid-19 and 4IR. First, from an engaged-scholarship standpoint, the project will delve into technological capabilities universities, academics, students as well as external partners need in the era of 4IR. Second, from engaged-scholarship perspective, the project will looks at capabilities needed during and post Covid-19. The CA is used as an ideal and potential ways of re-imagining engaged scholarship for and in the context of 4IR and Covid-19. By looking at the impact of technological and epidemiological changes on the relationship between universities and external communities, the project will generate evidence and new knowledge about the kind of engaged scholarship needed in an ever-changing and uncertain world.


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