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Title: Accelerating the implementation of SDG 4: stakeholder perceptions towards initiation of sustainable community engagement projects by higher education institutions.
Authors: Shabalala, Precious Lombuso.
Ngcwangu, Sisa.
School of Hospitality and Tourism Management
School of Hospitality and Tourism Management
Keywords: Accelerating SDG 4.;Community engagement (CE).;Higher education institutions (HEIs).;Sustainable development goals (SDGs).;Local communities.
Issue Date: 2021
Publisher: Emerald Publishing Limited
Abstract: Purpose – This paper aims to present the results of an investigation on how a reciprocal relationship between the University of Mpumalanga (UMP) in South Africa and the surrounding communities can be used to accelerate the implementation of sustainable development goal 4 (SDG 4). The aim of this paper is to establish stakeholder perceptions on the role of higher education institutions (HEIs) in the development and implementation of sustainable community engagement (CE) projects geared towards the acceleration of SDG 4. Design/methodology/approach – A qualitative methodology was adopted. This consisted of a presentation at UMP, an educational tour of the campus and discussion sessions with 3 education officials and 19 high schools representatives from Ehlanzeni District Municipality,Mpumalanga Province, South Africa. Content and narrative analysis were used to analyse the data obtained during the discussions. Findings – The key findings indicate that a reciprocal relationship between HEIs and their surrounding communities can be used to accelerate the implementation of SDG 4 by positioning HEIs to take the lead with initiatives and implementation of CE projects. Research limitations/implications – For HEIs to be in a better position to take a leading role in CE, they must guide without imposing, else it may lead to stakeholders losing interest. Practical implications – The importance of a mutual working relationship between HEIs and communities becomes paramount, as it may lead to the realisation and acceleration of SDG 4 through CE. It is suggested that HEIs prioritise CE and also involve communities from the conceptualisation of any project.
DOI: 10.1108/IJSHE-04-2020-0123
Appears in Collections:Journal articles

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