University of Mpumalanga

Community engagement as a key pillar of university ethos and education


University of Mpumalanga




South Africa

founding year


student body



Institutional Approach

The University of Mpumalanga, South Africa, has invested in a reciprocal relationship with their surrounding communities, with the intention of accelerating the implementation of SDG 4, the provision of quality education for all. Community-embedded learning and community engagement is a cornerstone of educational activities at the university. They have employed a ‘horizontal’ framework for uniting communities together with higher education institutes to design and carry out Community engagement programs. This has resulted in several unusual collaborations, such as the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management implementing and training vegetable and herb gardens at local secondary schools. Or, their Farmer’s Support Programme, carried out in collaboration between the university and the local municipality, which provides mentorship and assistance to small-scale farmers to aid in sustainable food production and viable agribusiness, supporting black-owned business and entrepreneurship. The university as a whole has a comprehensive sustainability action plan that is based on Ubuntu philosophy, which emphasizes the interconnectedness of all individuals, compassion, respect and dignity.


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