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Tuesday, 06 September 2016

Internationalizing community engagement

ENGAGED: Lecturers and students who took part in the International Winter Academy on Student Leadership in Community Engagement which was recently hosted by the CPUT’s Service Learning Unit ENGAGED: Lecturers and students who took part in the International Winter Academy on Student Leadership in Community Engagement which was recently hosted by the CPUT’s Service Learning Unit

Students who created projects during the International Winter Academy on Student Leadership in Community Engagement were recently awarded certificates at the Bellville Campus.

The academy is a collaborative partnership between the University of Applied Science of Osnabrueck (Germany), Guizhou University of Finance and Economics (China) and CPUT’s Service-Learning Unit and Department of Management and Project Management.

Hosted by the Service-Learning Unit, the academy saw about 20 students from the three universities working in international teams to create community engagement projects to be implemented in the metropole.

Towards the end of the academy the students presented their projects in front of a jury, composed of their lecturers and external experts from Cape Town, which assessed them and gave feedback.

The students will receive academic credits on submission of their project portfolios in September.

Besides creating their own projects, students in the academy were also encouraged to learn from their counterparts from other countries.

During the academy the students presented current streams and trends from their respective countries on arts and culture, sports and leisure as well as food and hospitality.

Lecturers and guest speakers presented concepts and theories on project management and community engagement models from the different countries.

These activities allowed students to learn about their respective traditions and preferences and gave a global perspective of community engagement, says Jacqui Scheepers, Manager of the Service Learning Unit.

Prior to implementing their project at the schools, the students volunteered their services at Jack and Jill Pre-school in Durbanville and Curious Cuties Educare, Bellville South, as part of their Mandela Day initiative.

Lecturers at the academy were Osnabrueck’s Prof Dr Gesa Birnkraut and Dr Rainer Lisowski, Guizhou’s Dr Heng Tian and Qidi Xiao as well as CPUT’s Jacqui Scheepers, Irshaad Desai and Nobuhle Luphondo.

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

Written by Kwanele Butana

Email: butanak@cput.ac.za