Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University (SMU) is committed to embracing community engagement to discharge its social responsibility role as required by the Council on Higher Education (HEQC 2004: Criteria7). In so doing, SMU community engagement aims to create an enabling institutional environment and direction for community engagement; promoting activities and initiatives undertaken by staff and students related to community engagement.
SMU views community needs and those of the population as central to its core business as an academic enterprise. In pursuit of creating an enabling institutional environment and direction for community engagement, the context Community Engagement within SMU, aims to be collaborative, inclusive and sustainable.
The SMU philosophy for community engagement is crafted around its motto “Knowledge for Quality Health Services” and is stated as follows: ‘’Social accountability and responsiveness for mutual benefit and impact through interprofessional education, scholarship and practice’’.
SMU strives to integrate community-related matters as part of teaching, learning and research, aimed at ensuring:
- Optimal use of SMU resources to support and sustain community development programs
- Community engagement activities within teaching, learning and research that are relevant to the SMU context as the only health sciences university in South Africa
- Knowledge production and provision of education enriched by scholarship of societal engagement and the values of academic citizenship
- Skills training relevant to the needs of the identified community