International Roundtable on Service-Learning and Community Engagement

SERVICE LEARNING: Staff and students of the three universities who took part in the recent International Winter School Academy on Student Leadership in community Engagement hosted by the CPUT

The Service-Learning Unit hosted an international roundtable on the Cape Town Campus to engage in conversations on Student Leadership in Community Engagement.

The roundtable brought together the university president and two academics from the University of Applied Science of Osnabrueck, Germany, two academics from Guizhou University of Finance and Economics, China, as well as academics and Community Engagement practitioners from CPUT.

The international delegation was hosted at CPUT as part of a collaboration with the Service-Learning Unit, Centre for Community Engagement and Work-Integrated Learning to present a Winter Academy for students from CPUT, China and Germany on the theme, Student Leadership in Community Engagement.

The academy was hosted in Germany in 2015 and will travel to China next year.

CPUT’s Service-Learning Manager, Jacqui Scheepers, told the roundtable about the South African Higher Education Community Engagement Forum, which is composed of South African university representatives appointed by their respective executive managements.

Scheepers said the forum aims to ensure that universities are engaged as they have a responsibility towards the development of the community.

“Universities should relook their approach to knowledge including recognizing other types of knowledge such as indigenous knowledge,” she added.

The German delegation said that as universities are part of the community, knowledge does not only reside with science but also with culture and religion.

They argued that universities create their futures using knowledge of Ubuntu and recognising their community’s geographic boundaries.

The University of Applied Science of Osnabrueck’s delegation was led by University President: Prof. Dr Habil Andreas Bertram, Dr Rainer Lisowski and Prof. Dr Gesa Birnkraut, while the Chinese delegation was led by Dr Heng Tian and Ms Qidi Xiao.


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