Integration of facilities, research, education & outreach as a “living laboratory” for sustainability (ISCN Principle 3)
There are many well-established teaching and research programmes in place and the number is increasing across all the faculties. A mapping project covering the period from 2011 to 2013 reflected an increase of 30% on the previous period.
The ISCN reports and the UCT research reports can be referred to for more information on the research groups that are engaged in interdisciplinary sustainability research. UCT’s strategic plan also addresses the goals of the university with regards to social cohesion and inclusivity. As more information is uploaded to the UCT website, users will hopefully have a better, clearer idea of what the university is doing with regards to integrating sustainability into its curriculum.
Professional staff at UCT are beginning to utilise the teaching and research resources, and gain the benefits from the courses that are using participatory and project-based training around campus sustainability – using campus as a ‘living laboratory’.
Social responsiveness is integral to what UCT wants to instil in its graduates. A number of student bodies have outreach arms. For example, the Green Campus Initiative goes out to schools to spread the sustainability message and to form eco clubs at the schools or in local communities. Ubunye – Inkanyezi (Let us shine) have several outreach projects, including TeachOut. The Township Debating League and the Students’ Health and Welfare Centres Organisation (SHAWCO) practice and promote responsible citizenship in the South African context through health, education and social entrepreneurship initiatives. They run 14 projects and five centres in nearby townships and communities, such as Khayelitsha, Kensington, Manenberg, Nyanga and Mitchells Plain. And finally, Engineers without borders activate, generate, use and transfer engineering knowledge that benefits society.