This book offers a conceptual re-think of how university community engagement functions as a lifelong learning resource for communities. While having a specific focus on the South African context, it has important implications for other universities which are concerned with their communities, and makes a compelling argument for the university as a public good, in spite of current trends towards marketization and commodification of higher education. The book draws on a theoretical framework of capabilities, asset-based community development, and the adult learning concept of dialogue, to propose a model whereby the boundary walls of the university become metaphorically 'porous', so that community members feel free to interact with the university as equal members of society. A historical outline of African universities is provided, as well as an exploration of the evolution of terms for community engagement, service learning and learning cities; and an examination of the policy and practice implications for the ideological model of a porous university.
Julia Preece is Professor of Adult Education at the Durban University of Technology and Honorary Professor at the Universities of KwaZulu-Natal and the Free State in South Africa. She has published widely on adult education, lifelong learning and community engagement.
Chapter 1. Background Context for Universities and Community Engagement in Africa.- Chapter 2. A Capabilities and Asset-Based Development Approach to Community Engagement.- Chapter 3. Community Engagement and its Evolving Terminology.- Chapter 4. Community Engagement through Service Learning.- Chapter 5. Learning Cities as Community Engagement.- Chapter 6. Two Case Examples of Community Engagement.- Chapter 7. The Porous University in Action.- Chapter 8. Implications of the Porous University for Policy and Practice.