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Rev Jaftha heads interim steering committee on community engagement
2008-11-20

 
The group that attended the first meeting of the proposed National Community Engagement Managers’ Forum.
 Delegates, representing 13 higher educations institutions (HEIs) across South Africa, attended the first meeting of the proposed National Community Engagement Managers’ Forum in Stellenbosch.

Prof. Julian Smith, Vice-Rector: Community Interaction and Personnel of the Stellenbosch University (SU) delivered the keynote address “Consolidating community engagement at South African universities”. In his address he referred to the following: particularities of managing community service (CS) at HEIs, general management areas applicable to CS, the international and national impulses that pertain to CS, concepts and terminology and the lessons learnt, particularly in the case of SU.

Prof. Priscilla Daniels delivered a presentation on the Community-Higher Education-Services-Partnership (CHESP) initiative of the Joint Education Trust (JET) Education Services, as an important intervention in South African universities to support service-learning over the past ten years. Delegates had an opportunity to share their approaches to community service and community service learning as well as their challenges.

Steps were taken towards the establishment of a national forum for Community Engagement Managers. Issues that were discussed were the purpose, strategy, structure, relationship to other national and international structures as well as funding for community engagement initiatives at HEIs.

An interim steering committee, with Rev Kiepie Jaftha, Chief Director Community Service at the University of the Free State (UFS) as the convener, was elected to take the process further. The next meeting of the forum will be held at the UFS towards the end of March 2009.
 

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