The North-West University is an integral part of the local community. We try to make a positive contribution to the North West Province and its citizens in a variety of ways. These include volunteering for projects in local communities, contributing to decision-making bodies that affect the community and doing research that changes people’s lives. We work closely with the city councils and other agencies to see how we can contribute to the well-being of all.
We engage with a wide range of people and organisations in Mafikeng, Potchefstroom and the Vaal Triangle, as well as regionally, nationally and internationally. These include schools, government and special interest groups.
Community engagement is defined as human development activities that staff and students of the university perform to uplift needy sectors of society and/or individuals. Although the university sometimes conducts fundraising campaigns to help pay for these activities, or charges nominal fees for direct project costs, it does not undertake community engagement activities on a commercial basis. In other words, the NWU does not seek to make a profit from community engagement.
* Community service, such as the Science Centre, HIV/Aids projects, Student RAG, Law clinics and many research-related projects.
* Developmental activities with a recruitment focus, such as Science, Engineering and sports weeks, as well as cultural activities.
* Professional advisory services, including research and professional advice for local, provincial and national government.
* Subsidised developmental engagement, including experiential training for students doing nursing, social work, teaching and so on.
*Message from the Institutional Director: Community Engagement
As part of the fulfilment of our human calling, we all have a need to grow spiritually and this growth can only happen when we contribute beyond ourselves. Universities are formidable catalysts and leaders of change in our society. As Mr Nelson Mandela once said: “Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world.”
The primary concern of the Community Engagement Office is to make a difference by uplifting, developing and supporting our society. We reach out to our community in ways that build trust and give people and organisations the confidence to approach us for assistance.
To us, making a difference is not just about becoming involved with good causes; it is about implementing our expertise in an innovative manner to achieve sustainable improvement for our society. In marshalling our resources, we adopt a holistic approach that promotes inter-disciplinary and trans-disciplinary participation. We also hope to continually expand our efforts in South Africa and the region – thereby making a difference, fulfilling our calling and spreading compassion, respect and knowledge.
The Community Engagement Office is most thankful for each and every contribution so far. We encourage our colleagues and contributors to contact us about any community engagement matter so that together we can ensure that the NWU becomes a partner of choice in social engagement.
Ms Beatrix Bouwman
Institutional Director: Community Engagement