oa The Journal of Independent Teaching and Learning - Institutionalising service-learning

Volume 5, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1818-9687



Higher education has three core pillars: teaching, research and community engagement. Teaching and research endeavours have dominated university agendas. However, momentum in prioritising community engagement is growing. The developing emphasis placed on the third pillar raises an opportunity to investigate how community engagement is conceptualised and therefore prioritised within the higher education landscape. Community engagement is expressed as a continuum in higher education inclusive of five overlapping activities of which service-learning is just one. This paper outlines what service-learning is and its potential role in the transformation of higher education, as well as to signal the importance of institutional commitment to service-learning. Lastly, the paper offers a synthesis of the available literature on how to implement successfully service-learning modules.

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