The assumption grounding this issue of SAJHE is that; a university or any institution of higher learning comes to its fullness through serious engagement with the community. All authors herein deconstruct the ivory tower notion of a university and attempt to look at it as an integral instance of civil society which has to contribute and learn from other institutions in the community. Thus the common idea bringing all the papers in this volume together is the concern for universities to learn from the community at the same time that as they are providing service thereto. Together the papers demonstrate that for learning to be sustainable and empowering for all, this reciprocal relationship of mutual benefit and respect needs to be put in place (Keene and Colligan 2004; Welch and Billig 2004). Furthermore this issue is informative and exciting because of the new and multiple voices it represents. Most of these voices are couched within social justice paradigm advocating for universities to be inclusive and directly engaged in resolving problems of poverty, oppression and marginalisation as these impede optimal learning especially among rural and immigrant communities in South Africa, Canada and the world over. The primary focus of all papers herein therefore is on the creation of sustainable empowering learning environments through engaged scholarship spearheaded by the university.