Change the world


Building linkages between the classroom and the community and providing food security, ocean research, workshops and consulting, providing voluntary academic tutoring and supervised prosocial peer engagement and students designing real architectural projects form part of this year’s engagement winning projects.

Excellence Award STEM for Agricultural Technology Transfer Programme: Dr Tim Pittaway

“The task of the modern educator is not to cut down jungles, but to irrigate deserts.” -C.S. Lewis

Dr Pittaway as Agriculture and Game Ranch Management lecturer, continuously builds linkages between the classroom and the community through engaged student teaching programmes and professional/discipline-based agricultural services.

He has integrated an Agricultural Technology Transfer programme into the curriculum, assisting underserviced and disadvantaged communities over the past three years with food security.

More than 70 community sustainable agricultural projects have been established through workshops, school vegetable gardens and church kitchen gardens.

The students teach sustainable agriculture techniques, gain off-campus experiential learning and learn to overcome the challenging peri-urban agriculture environment.

Under Dr Pittaway’s leadership, the students developed an agriculture website and a tri-lingual series of agriculture teaching booklets which are distributed to schools in the metro and its surrounding areas.

Engagement Excellent Team Award: Institute for Coastal and Marine Research

(Liza Rishworth and Dr Bernie Snow of the Institute received the award on behalf of the institute)

“The ocean is deep within our souls; it speaks to our culture, economy and rich bio-heritage. Together, we can preserve and sustain the ocean and life.”

This leading ocean sciences institute strives for excellent transdisciplinary research in global change, living resources and food security, biodiversity, conservation and management, building capacity, advancing coastal and marine environment knowledge and the University’s Ocean Sciences Strategy.

Engagement includes research-based training, workshops, public lectures and short learning programmes, as well as providing consulting and contract studies to local authorities and the broader public.

Members include more than 250 staff and postgraduate students, and both local and international external research collaborators.

Five South African Research Chair Initiative holders in Shallow Water Ecosystems, Law of the Sea and Development in Africa, Marine Spatial Planning, UK-SA Bilateral Research Chair in Ocean Science and Marine Food Security and Identities and Social Cohesion in Africa form part of the entity.

The School@Home Project: Prof Veonna Goliath

“’If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together’ – this African proverb underpins our work.”

(Aunty Emily Van Ster, one of the community volunteers on the project and Prof Goliath received the award)

This project lead by associate professor in Social Development Professions Prof Goliath, started seven years ago with Education, Social Work and Psychology students providing voluntary academic tutoring and supervised prosocial peer engagement for grade 10 to 12 learners from underserviced and historically marginalised communities.

Students benefit from their experiential learning while developing into fit for purpose graduates.

Staff have been recruiting the students as volunteers, and 650 learners from 18 schools have benefited from the project as an alternative to engagement in harm-inducing behaviours, so prevalent in society. The project is an impactful, vibrant Community of Practice, also benefiting from the University’s Department of Arts, Culture and Heritage external partnerships with NGO’s, SADRAT and The Uniting Reformed Church.

Engagement Project Award for Architectural Engagements with Our Human Origins: John Andrews

“Learning begins with something unfamiliar, or seeing something familiar from a different perspective. As an architect and teacher, I always strive to be learning.”

As second-year design studio head of Architecture, a core focus of John’s work has been an attempt to redefine the architectural design studio as a platform for staff and students to collectively integrate and contribute to the core functions of academia: learning and teaching, research and engagement.

These explorations have been facilitated by the studio’s engagements with clients and communities for the design of real architectural projects; set in an authentic project context and underpinned by a socially sympathetic cause and real-world ethical responsibility.

This is in the hopes of creating a situated, critical and inclusive education while generating creative research and contributing, in a tangible way, to the community at large.

View the photos of all the winners at the event

Contact information
Ms Elma de Koker
Internal Communication Practitioner
Tel: 041-504 2160