University Community Engagement and Lifelong Learning

The Porous University

  • Julia Preece

Table of contents

About this book


This book offers a conceptual re-think of how university community engagement functions as a lifelong learning resource for communities. While having a specific focus on the South African context, it has important implications for other universities which are concerned with their communities, and makes a compelling argument for the university as a public good, in spite of current trends towards marketization and commodification of higher education. The book draws on a theoretical framework of capabilities, asset-based community development, and the adult learning concept of dialogue, to propose a model whereby the boundary walls of the university become metaphorically ‘porous’, so that community members feel free to interact with the university as equal members of society. A historical outline of African universities is provided, as well as an exploration of the evolution of terms for community engagement, service learning and learning cities; and an examination of the policy and practice implications for the ideological model of a porous university.


capability approach asset based community development South African communities university as a public good service learning

Authors and affiliations

  • Julia Preece
    • 1
  1. 1.Durban University of Technology Unit of Adult and Community EducationDurbanSouth Africa

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2017
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
  • eBook Packages Education
  • Print ISBN 978-3-319-56162-2
  • Online ISBN 978-3-319-56163-9
  • Buy this book on publisher's site
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