Enhancing the Quality and Relevance of Teaching and Learning through University Community Partnerships: the Case of Art at Makerere University
A key gap in writing on the University Community Partnership (UCP) approach to higher education delivery relates to the fact that, in general, the fruitfulness of the approach is taken for granted. Furthermore, the usefulness of UCPs is tacitly expected to be two-way with universities helping their communities to address some of their challenges and the experience of partnership helping the universities to enhance their relevance. However, this paper reports the findings of a study that presents a different picture. Investigating the implementation and impact of the UCP approach to the delivery of the Bachelor of Industrial and Fine Arts program at Makerere University’s Margaret Trowel School of Industrial and Fine Arts (MTSIFA), the study found that contrary to the widely held view that the approach to higher education delivery results into universities helping their communities to deal with some of their challenges, at the MTSIFA, the approach has not resulted into service learning. However, it has helped the school to close critical gaps in studio support for its students, thereby enhancing the quality and relevance of teaching and learning. Therefore, using this case, the study argues that UCPs present a panacea to some of the resources constraints inherent to massification that many HEIs in Africa are grappling with.
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