SU Vice-Rector honoured by national CI forum

Stellenbosch University’s Vice-Rector: Community Interaction and Staff, Prof Julian Smith, was recently honoured at the formal launch of the South African Higher Education Community Engagement Forum in Durban for the leading role he played in the establishment of this national forum and for his thought leadership with regard to community interaction at higher education institutions in South Africa.

Just a year ago discussions around the possible establishment of a national body to support and promote community engagement at South African universities started at STIAS in Stellenbosch. These discussions were followed by another round earlier this year at the University of the Free State and the dream of a national body was realized recently in Durban.

All 23 public higher education institutions as well as one private institution were represented at the formal launch in Durban that was organized by the national launch committee in conjunction with the Mangosuthu University of Technology.

Prof Smith said that the award is an “indication of the leading role that the University has played this past year in terms of a neglected academic core function.”

“I dedicate this award to my colleagues in Management, who have accepted and promoted Community Interaction (CI) as a complete academic function; to the Division for Community Interaction, who meticulously gave shape to the institutional policy; to the Deans and academics in general, who enthusiastically accepted the emphasis of the academic foundation of CI; and to the successive student leaders in the Student Council who adapted their priorities and activities to that of the CI-policy.”