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The University of Fort Hare is a public university in Alice, South Africa. It was a key institution in higher education for black Africans from its foundation in 1916. UFH has a student enrollment of over 10,000 and has five faculties. One underlying theme of UFH’s mission is “Offering academic programmes with a strong social and ethic relevance – ensuring a critical and constructive contribution to social development.” University of Fort Hare’s website>>

Community Engagement at UFH

The University’s current strategic plan commits UFH to the following aims:

  • Establish the University as an engaged university, deepening and promoting the scholarship of engagement
  • Ensure that ‘Community Engagement’ at the University of Fort Hare will move beyond ‘service projects’ toward a more encompassing scholarship endeavour and vision for the University
  • Establish the University as a recognized cornerstone of the community, and also as a community of practice striving for sustainable social, cultural and economic development of our community, province and nation
  • Make the University’s core activities more relevant, responsive and accessible to the public and private sector, as well as the broader community we seek to serve. This includes the study of the pedagogy of engagement through finding open and balanced engagements where people can mutually grow and learn.
  • Engage internally, and with national partners, to better establish the systems to guide and support the growth of this scholarly emphasis

Learn more about UFH’s community engagement work>>

Agricultural and Rural Development Research Institute

Fort Hare ARDRIThe Agricultural and Rural Development Research Institute (ARDRI) was established on the 1 st April 1977, by the Faculty of Agriculture at the University of Fort Hare. The Institute was established to provide assistance to less developed areas in South Africa in the form of specialist advice and research into the wide range of socio-economic and technical problems which affect the livelihoods of rural households and communities at large. ARDRI is currently focused on working in the Eastern Cape Province on four main areas: Best Practices in Smallholder Agriculture,  Transforming Rural Livelihoods for Poverty Alleviation Empowering Community Organizations for Local Action, and Responding to the Challenges of Climate Change. Learn more>>

Psychological Services Centre (PSC)

Fort Hare PsychThe PSC offers an exciting and stimulating training experience to intern psychologists through the provision of mental health services to the local community. The PSC operates within the philosophy of community mental health and aims to address local mental health needs within a primary health care framework built on mutual trust, understanding and partnerships.
Services are provided through direct counseling service to individuals and families at the centre’s East London offices; and through community projects and partnerships designed to create sustainable structures for addressing particular mental health needs within Eastern Cape communities. Learn more>>

Telkom Centre of Excellence

Fort Hare TelkomThe Telkom Centre of Excellence in Information and Communication Technology for Development (ICTD) is a research unit hosted within the the Department of Computer Science at the University of Fort Hare. The research focus of the centre is on the use of computing technology for socio-economic development of marginalized and rural communities. The field-site of this research is the rural community of Dwesa in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa. Learn more>>

New Economic Horizons

---New Economic Horizons is a student-led organization that was formed in 2007 by students registered in the Faculty of Management and Commerce. The members of the society are concerned about the existence of economic problems in the real world, and have pledged their time, effort, dedication and abilities to make the world a more habitable planet by endeavouring to find possible problem solving economic solutions. The NEH society is focused on conducting analysis of various economic problems in the search for sustainable solutions and simultaneously providing an engagement platform that enable personal growth of members, and the advancement of a critical learning community. Learn more>>

Nelson Mandela Institute

The Nelson Mandela Institute for Education and Rural Development, founded at the University of Fort Hare in 2007, takes forward Mandela’s work in education and community development . The Institute conducts research and pilot projects to gain an understanding of what does and does not work in the rural education setting. Read more>>

Teacher Education in Sub-Saharan Africa

Teacher Education in Sub-Saharan Africa (TESSA) is an African partnership programme that aims to contribute to achieving the goal of Universal Primary Education (UPE) by 2015. The University of Fort Hare is a consortium partner in TESSA. TESSA’s prime aim is to research and develop high quality resources and support systems in ways that can help significantly improve teacher education and classroom practice.

Fort Hare Agri-Parks

Over a period of more than ten years, the University of Fort Hare has led a number of related experiments on ecologically and economically optimal agricultural production systems, small-scale agro-processing, community-centered entrepreneurship, and appropriate training and human capacity development programs that underpin these endeavors.  This work has led to, among other outcomes, the establishment of two Agri-Parks, with more such R&D hubs planned for the future.