The UCT Knowledge Co-op provides a way for local groups (NGOs, local government, SMMEs) to access skills and professional expertise within the university. The aim is to make it easier for community groups to approach the university with ideas and requests for joint projects. At the same time it provides an opportunity for academics and students to engage with society and to apply their knowledge to address the needs of communities.
Academics or students can choose from a list of topics submitted by community partners. In the case of students, this may become the topic for their dissertation, which their academic supervisors in turn may use as case material or site for their own engaged research. The Co-op acts as match-maker to projects but also supports the process right through. In each project, in addition to meeting the requirements for academic output, also produces something of direct use to the community partner, for example a research summary or a workshop to discuss the findings. See examples of projects that have been completed.
The UCT Knowledge Co-op supports UCT's mission to address local development challenges through socially responsive research.