The North-West University is a South African public university with three campuses. NWU was established in 2004 through the merger of campuses from three other universities: the University of North-West, Potchefstroom University, and Vista University. With the merger, the North-West University became one of the largest in South Africa, with approximately 64,000 students enrolled in 2010. NWU operates under the motto “Innovation through Diversity” and its mission calls on NWU to educate “well-rounded graduates who are able to think laterally and critically in their service to the country and its people,” and to do research “supplying innovative solutions to challenges faced by the scholarly community, the country, the continent and the world.” North-West University’s website>>
Community Engagement Office
NWU tries to make a positive contribution to the North West province and its citizens in a variety of ways including volunteering for projects in local communities, contributing to decision-making bodies that affect the community, and doing research that changes people’s lives. The Community Engagement Office at NWU works to ensure the alignment of all community engagement projects at NWU with the university’s mission and vision. The office promotes, facilitates, and coordinates relevant community projects at the university and assists in forming partnerships with all relevant stakeholders and to facilitate the implementation of expertise from the pool of intellectual property within the NWU. Learn more>>
Potchefstroom Campus Programs
FLAGH (Farm Labour and General Health) was initiated in 2001 in a rural district to improve nutrition among families in this rural area. FLAGH also works with rural women to develop income-generating activities such as embroidery of bags, aprons, and mats. FLAGH also helps local schools create vegetable gardens to improve the nutrition of school-provided meals.
The Centre for Community Law and Development delivers free services to people who cannot afford legal assistance for issues from land claims to divorces. The Centre provides training programs for communities in the North-West and Mpumalanga provinces. It has also developed Access to Justice Clusters which draw together institutions that deliver legal services to poorer and remote communities.
Established in 2004, the Musikhane community project is aimed at exposing primary school learners in grades 5 to 7 to music training. The training is presented once a week by volunteers and music students. Musikhane offers formal music training to a community where training is not readily available, and gives the beneficiaries opportunities to learn new skills and broaden their horizons.
Tsibogang Christian Action Group
The action group at the Mafikeng Campus is a non-profit organization launched in 2001 in response to the HIV and AIDS pandemic. Its objectives are to assist those living with or affected by the virus, by helping to care for those who are sick and by educating the youth on HIV and AIDS. They also identify and assist orphans and vulnerable children and provide blankets, mattresses and food parcels to the sick, and assist with access to social grants, birth certificates and identity documents. They have formed support groups in the community of those infected by HIV and conduct training workshops for volunteers on home-based care. Learn more>>
PUK SJGD is a student organization on NWU’s Potchefstroom campus that currently comprises 79 projects that focus on vulnerable adults, outreach programs, youth development and early childhood development. SJGD projects focus on developing important life skills such as safety, leadership, human rights, general health, and awareness of HIV / AIDS. Although SJGD focuses on long-term socio-economic development, there are also many community service projects. SJGD’s vision for the term “Giving Hope, Inspiring Change.” Learn more>>