Research within the context of community engagement
CITATION: Albertyn, R. & Daniels, P. 2009. Research within the Contect of Community Engagement, in E. Bitzer (ed.). Higher Education in South Africa: A scholarly look behind the scenes. Stellenbosch: SUN MeDIA. 409-428. doi:10.18820/9781920338183/18.
The original publication is available from AFRICAN SUN MeDIA, Stellenbosch: South Africa.
Chapters in Books
Community engagement is a concept with a complexity of meanings, approaches and application. Derived from the scholarship of engagement of Boyer, community engagement reflects a commitment to relevance within the context of higher education institutions. The chapter aims to explore the issues that emerge in the continuing debate around engagement with communities. This is done from the perspective of the global era that impacts on knowledge production which is integral to the mission of community engagement. The South African response to engagement also reflects conflicting interpretations and imperatives that influence the application of community engagement in universities. The dichotomies in the conceptualisations of community engagement influence higher educational institutions on three levels: that of management, the academics in their teaching and learning, and the community. The concepts of knowledge and power have implications for all three levels of engagement. These will all impact on efficacy and sustainability of engagement efforts. The issues and challenges on these levels are highlighted for further debate. Possible avenues for research on the level of management, the academic and the community are suggested.