We are proud to be part of Stellenbosch University’s Town and Gown Network. The network was established by Stellenbosch University (SU) following an inaugural conference hosted by Professor Wim de Villliers, SU Rector and Vice-Chancellor, in Stellenbosch, 28-30 November 2018. It brings together SU’s strategic partner institutions in the UK, Europe and North America, as well as in South Africa with the aim of providing an international platform to share experience and best practice in university engagement with local business and community.
The University of Bath and the International Relations Office are excited to be working with its strategic partner, SU, and other universities across the UK and internationally in order to better engage and collaborate with the local community. It is a fantastic opportunity to both share with and learn from universities globally and implement policies and practices based on the work of the network.
The first meeting took place in Stellenbosch in November 2018. Prof. Veronica Hope Hailey, Dr Peter Nuttall and Prof. Catherine Montgomery attended on behalf of the University of Bath to present on Bath’s local engagement initiatives. The topics of focus for the meeting were; social cohesion, the role of sport in bringing town and gown together, restoring relations with the Stellenbosch Community, engaging with local business, supporting internationalisation and student involvement with the town and gown.
In July 2020, the second network meeting took place virtually with a smaller number of representatives from the network’s university partners. For this, Prof. Jeremy Bradshaw, Lily Rumsey, and Tina Schilbach from the IRO attended on behalf of the University of Bath. Members shared their experience with Covid19 and its impact on internationalisation, including new challenges and opportunities for civic engagement in the HE sector.
We look forward to continuing to work with Stellenbosch and partners through this network.