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Univen participates in the Commonwealth Youth Work Education Consortium

From 25 to 27 June 2018, Prof Mokgale Makgopa, Dean of School of Human and Social Sciences and Dr Reymont Raselekoane HOD of Institute for Gender and Youth Studies represented the University of Venda (Univen) at the Commonwealth Higher Education in Youth Work Consortium technical workshop in London.

The reason for their participation was to reach the agreement and to establish the Consortium that was first made at the 19th Commonwealth Conference of Education Ministers in the Bahamas in June 2015. During the Commonwealth Youth Work Conference in March 2016, the consortium partners delivered a consultation which led to the 16 universities joining as members. The seventeen initial participating universities were:

– Botswana – Botswana College of Distance and Open Learning
– Guyana – University of Guyana (Turkeyen Campus)
– India – Rajiv Gandhi National Institute of Youth Development
– Jamaica – University of West Indies
– Kenya – University of Maseno
– Kenya – University of Nairobi
– Malawi – University of Malawi
– Malta – University of Malta
– Namibia – Namibia College of Open Learning –
– Pakistan – Allama Iqbal Open University
– Sierra Leone – University of Sierra Leone
– South Africa – University of Venda
– South Africa – University of South Africa
– Sri Lanka – Open University of Sri Lanka
– Uganda – Makerere University
– United Kingdom – YMCA George Williams College
– Bangladesh – Bangladesh Open University

The consortium was formally launched by the President of Uganda, Yoweri Museveni, at the opening ceremony of the 9th Commonwealth Youth Ministers Meeting, in Kampala, Uganda on 1 August 2017.

The Commonwealth Higher Education in Youth Work Consortium serves as a network of leading institutions engaged in the education and training of youth workers and policy-makers in order to share perspectives and experiences so that the whole process can be enriching for all concerned. The Consortium technical workshop aimed at developing a roadmap for the implementation of the Commonwealth Youth Work Degree Project as well as networking and exploring the possibility of partnering with other universities in the Commonwealth on research. The Consortium aims at ensuring that academic institutions across the Commonwealth increase access to youth work education and training globally by offering a degree. The need to enhance youth work education and training comes as many Commonwealth countries are experiencing a bulge in their youth population, and the potential opportunities and risks related to large populations are young people who are increasingly being recognised.

“Furthermore, the Consortium intends to support higher education institutions across the Commonwealth to create or upgrade youth work qualifications, and create collaborations for research, and sharing of good practice, case studies and tools from the field. This collection of knowledge will be a rich and constantly renewed resource of material on youth work education and training. It will be underpinned by evidence and rights-based youth work principles that will ensure global relevance and responsiveness to the needs and rights of young people.” said the Director of Youth at the Commonwealth Secretariat Katherine Ellis.

By attending this event, the Univen delegation was able to share with other delegates where Univen is with the BAYID degree and also about the options for the University of Venda in the Commonwealth Higher Education in Youth Work Consortium’s degree project as well as the need for more collaboration in research among Commonwealth higher education institutions. Univen also stands to gain from the Consortium by using some of the modules for the certificate and diploma qualifications. Since Univen has been classified as a comprehensive university, it is required to offer both vocational and academic qualifications.

The impact of the University of Venda on Youth Work issues has been felt and acknowledged by the Commonwealth Higher Education in Youth Work Consortium Technical Workshop delegates. As a result, this event has also attracted attention of the delegates from the Universities of West Indies and Malawi to the Youth Studies degree as well as the master’s degree which are currently offered in the Institute for Gender and Youth Studies. Dr. Brian Belton from YMCA George Williams College (UK) and Prof Tim Corney from the University of Victoria (Australia) have also expressed interest in working with the University of Venda on Youth Work research.

Issued by:
Department of Communications & Marketing
University of Venda
Tel: (015) 962 8525
Date: 17 July 2018

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