SASSS thanks Student Cities Summit participants

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Delegates at the Student Cities Summit
Student Cities Summit Delegates

The South African Student Support Services (SASSS) would like to thank all participants for their contributions at the Inaugural Student Cities Summit held on 26-29 March 2017 at the Krystal Beach Hotel in Gordon`s Bay, Cape Town.

According to reviews conveyed by most delegates, the Student Cities Summit initiative was highly appreciated as a platform to engage and find innovative solutions towards the creation of liveable, responsive and connected college/university towns that will contribute to student learning, development, success and improved graduate outputs.

In line with the summit theme of “It Takes a Village to Education a Student – Creating Extraordinary Student Experiences for Student Communities in Student Cities”, the event identified various innovative interventions and solutions that will add value and improve the learning and living conditions of student communities in student cities.

In order to achieve the goals of desirable Student Cities in the immediate, medium and long term basis, the summit resolved the following future actions:

  • Convene the Student Cities Summit as an annual event to assess, monitor and evaluate the progress achieved in the Student Cities Project (Student Cities Summit Schedule: 28-31 March 2018, 27-30 March 2019, 1-4 April 2020, 31 March to 3 April 2021, 30 March to 2 April 2022)
  • Convene the Student Cities Regional Indabas as an opportunity to engage colleges/universities, local municipalities and other stakeholders at a regional level. The Student Cities Regional Indabas are scheduled for April to August 2017. See schedule.
  • Organization of an International Study Tour for benchmarking of best practices in Student Cities, Town/Gown Relations and Student Support Services Agencies in May/June 2017. Forge partnerships with the International Town Gown Association, CNOUS and Studentenwerke to accelerate and improve practice in these focus areas. See attached invitation.
  • Engage the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET), University South Africa (USAf), South African College Principals Organization (SACPO), South African Union of Students and the South African Further Education Training Student Association (SAFETSA) and other relevant stakeholders towards the development of an Off-Campus Living and Commuter Students Policy in accordance with the Council for Advancement of Standards (CAS).
  • Engage with the Department of Higher Education and Training and the Southern African Chapter of the Association of College and University Housing Officials International (ACUHO-I-SAC) for the development of a national Student Housing Policy and acceleration of the Private Student Accommodation Accreditation Policy and the national Grading of Student Accommodation by the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa.
  • Engage the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET), University South Africa (USAf), South African College Principals Organization (SACPO) and the South African Local Government Association (SALGA) for the development of a national Framework for Town and Gown Relations (City and College/University Relations) towards the improvement of Student Cities in South Africa.
  • Engage the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET), South African Federation of Student Affairs (SAFSA), University South Africa (USAf), South African College Principals Organization (SACPO), South African Union of Students and the South African Further Education Training Student Association (SAFETSA) for the development of a national Student Support Services Policy and a formal Outside the Classroom Curriculum (OCC) for Colleges and Universities in South Africa.
  • Engage the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) and the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) for the establishment of a Student Support Services Agency (see CNOUS and Studentenwerke Models) for the support and welfare of student communities (especially non-residential students) in living and learning in student cities.
  • Engage the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET), Department of Transport and the Passenger Rail Association of South Africa (PRASA) for the development of a Student Travel Assistance Initiative (STASSI) policy and support services for student communities in colleges and universities.
  • Collaborate with the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET), Department of Science and Technology, State Information Technology Agency (SITA), Council for Scientific and Industrial Research and the Centre for Public Services Innovation (CPSI) and the Open Government Partnership (OGP) to explore innovation and technology solutions to provide student support services for student communities.

The organizers of the Student Cities Summit would like to also thank the speakers/presenters/facilitators for their delivery of papers and presentations that stimulated innovative ideas and solutions and created a platform for vibrant and lively engagements and discussions during the summit. To access the proceedings of the Student Cities Summit follow the following links:

 http://www.student-times.co.za/2017/03/27/student-cities-summit-kicks-off-conference-ideas/

 http://www.student-times.co.za/2017/03/18/student-cities-jazz-festival-attracts-world-class-line/

 http://www.student-times.co.za/2017/02/15/tale-two-cities-best-times-worst-time/

 http://www.student-times.co.za/2017/02/14/student-cities-summit-focus-town-gown-relations/

 http://www.student-times.co.za/2017/02/14/optimal-town-gown-marriage-book-determines-relations-tertiary-institutions-communities-located/