About

Community engagement

At Unisa, community engagement is actively promoted through our Community Engagement and Outreach Policy. As a leading educational institution, we remain mindful of our significant role in building ongoing, permanent relationships with the community to create positive differences, right down to grassroots level.

The Department of Community Engagement and Outreach drives our community engagement endeavours. The department ensures that arrangements for community engagement are formalised and integrated with those for teaching and learning, where appropriate, and are adequately resourced and monitored.

There are five main categories of community engagement at Unisa:

  • Curriculum-related engagement includes formal, accredited academic programmes, as well as credit-bearing short learning programmes aimed at service learning.
  • Non-curriculum-related community engagement entails the professional involvement of employees, who have considerable skills and expertise, in community engagement initiatives.
  • Research-related community engagement focuses on the advancement of scientific knowledge through community engagement – the community is engaged as a partner, and Unisa’s research capacity is used to address community problems.
  • Community building and capacity building entail the development of individual skills and knowledge in order to address community-specific needs.

Community outreach involves voluntary outreach efforts by academics, university employees, alumni and students in response to the social, economic and political needs of communities.