Original Research

Exploring the nexus between transdisciplinarity, internationalisation and community service-learning at a university of technology in Cape Town

Masilonyane Mokhele, Nicholas Pinfold
Transformation in Higher Education | Vol 6 | a121 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/the.v6i0.121 | © 2021 Masilonyane Mokhele, Nicholas Pinfold | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 29 March 2021 | Published: 18 August 2021

About the author(s)

Masilonyane Mokhele, Department of Urban and Regional Planning, Faculty of Informatics and Design, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Cape Town, South Africa
Nicholas Pinfold, Department of Urban and Regional Planning, Faculty of Informatics and Design, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Cape Town, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: The ability of the South African citizenry to overcome a myriad of challenges (which include the triple challenges of inequality, poverty and unemployment) can be called into question. This alleged inability could, in part at least, be linked to the role of higher education, which is at a vantage point of equipping the citizenry with the requisite values, skills and knowledge.

Aim: The aim of the article is to discuss attempts that were employed towards imparting transdisciplinary and collaborative skills to students at Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT).

Setting: The article reports on the collaboration between a number of stakeholders, viz. CPUT, University of Michigan, St. Mark’s Church and District Six Museum. The aim of the collaboration was to develop an interactive Web map, which would display the socio-spatial information based on the baptismal records of the former residents of District Six.

Methods: The article explores interconnections between transdisciplinary education, internationalisation of higher education and community service-learning. The discussion is based on the authors’ reflective analysis of the deployment of the triad of concepts in the initiative reported on.

Results: Intricate interdependencies were discovered between transdisciplinarity, internationalisation of higher education and community service-learning.

Conclusion: It is proposed that future teaching and learning initiatives employ a critical lens and the notion of complexity to meticulously explore the aforesaid concepts towards extending the frameworks for higher education.


Keywords

higher education; internationalisation of higher education; transdisciplinary education; community service-learning; South Africa; Cape Peninsula University of Technology; University of Michigan

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