n South African Journal of Higher Education - Beyond the ivory tower : service learning for sustainable community development : perspectives on higher education

Volume 17, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1011-3487



Teaching, research and community service have since earliest times been regarded as the three core functions of a university. The concept and practice of service-learning has succeeded in uniting these core functions. Whereas the quality of student learning resulting from service learning experiences is of crucial importance for universities, the role of service learning in community development also deserves attention. <br>This article explores the necessary conditions for service learning to make a viable and effective contribution to sustainable community development by critically analysing a number of service-learning projects at the University of the Free State. From this analysis certain conclusions are drawn on necessary prerequisites for service learning to satisfy the requirements of participatory development and thus contribute to sustainable community development. It is the author's contention that the university's involvement in service learning along the lines of participatory development is a crucial investment in the future of students, communities and the university itself.

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