Mainstreaming Community University Engagement and Community Based Research


Dr George Openjuru, Assoc. Prof. and Dean School of Distance and Lifelong Learning represented Makerere University College of Education and External Studies at the CUVIC 2014 University of Victoria Conference from 19th to 22nd May 2014. The conference titled ‘Beyond Engagement: Creating Integration, Innovation & Impact’, witnessed engaging keynote presentations, workshops, poster sessions and field trips. The conference provided a platform for discussions relating to connections between the community and university activists, innovators and researchers from around the world. It gave an opportunity to reflect on and join a growing local and global movement for community and university engagement to create a more sustainable, healthy and just world. Participants from across the globe shared stories regarding the new skills where research, teaching, learning and the arts meet creative and interdisciplinary community development.

Below are a few notes from Dr George Openjuru

On Saturday 17th May, the Dean participated in a meeting focusing on discussing the various UNESCO chair projects in Community Based Research (CBR). This included analysis of the CUE (Community University Engagement) Survey study that they conducted worldwide with funding from IRDC. The Dean has been tasked with doing a country specific case study of Uganda comprising of at least two universities in Uganda (Gulu and Makerere University) and possibly including a private university.

The team is also planning a regional (Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi and hopefully South Sudan) dissemination meeting in Oct 2014 in Uganda during which the 5th Global University Network of Innovation (GUNI) Series on  Social Commitment of Universities, "Higher Education in the World 5: Knowledge, Engagement and Higher Education: Contributing to Social Change" will be launched. This report is a product of the Barcelona Conference 2013 in which the Dean and  Dr. Janice Busingye the Chair of DACE represented Makerere University. 

On Sunday 18th May 2014, the Dean participated in discussing the newly won SSHRC Grants funding for Training the next generation of Community Based Research (CBR) practitioners and CUE scholars (young academics). This will commence with a worldwide training needs assessment, including assessment of available training resources availability in all formats and go on to the development of the training contents based on those findings, and the launching of this training through e-learning based in PRIA, India and University of Victoria, Canada with coordination in all the participating universities including Mak.

The idea of promoting community based research is to create a research model which engages with the community and promotes social change.  

From 20th –22nd May, the Dean attended a Community University Engagement Conference at the University of Victoria CUVIC) 2014, Beyond Engagement: Creating integration, Innovations and Impact where he presented a paper on the Makerere University community engagement model which was well received.  

 See the concluding video from the closing intervention – please take a look here

Here is knowledge sharing link from the conference activities

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