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Exploring conceptual models for community engagement at higher education institutions in South Africa

Bender, Gerda

Abstract:
A critical conceptual analysis of the South African Higher Education context reflects the lack of a structural and functional framework for the conceptualisation of community engagement (CE) in higher education. The purpose of this article is to explore a framework and model for the conceptualisation of CE for a better understanding of community engagement at higher education institutions in South Africa. The research methodology was a qualitative conceptual analysis using purposive sampling. Textual data was analysed by means of interpretative content analysis in a mainly inductive fashion. A conceptual framework and the silo, intersecting and infusion (cross-cutting) models for CE are presented and the attributes of a community-engaged university stated. The conceptual analysis of CE (curricular and research-related and non-curricular) contributes to the notion that engagement is a fundamentally dynamic and relational process (partnership); it "happens" at multiple levels of higher education institutions and in multiple sites in and over time; all human relationships and engagements involve a political and an ethical dimension; and engagement is a fundamentally educative practice.

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Document Title: Exploring conceptual models for community engagement at higher education institutions in South Africa
Journal: Perspectives in Education
Volume: 26
Issue: 1
No. of Pages: 81-95


Document Type:Journal Article (Peer Reviewed)
Subject Area:National Systems and Comparative Studies
Country:South Africa
Keywords:Community Engagement, Higher Education Institutions HEI s, Models, Collaboration


File Size:283 KB
Rights:This paper was retrieved at http://www.up.ac.za/dspace/bitstream/2263/5013/1/Bender_Exploring(2008).pdf. Permission to use this paper was also granted by the author.
Date Added:28 July 2008


Bender, Gerda (2008). Exploring conceptual models for community engagement at higher education institutions in South Africa, Perspectives in Education 26(1): 81-95