The process of developing MoUs for JAGs
Mini case study
At Gulu University, the JAG members have guided the process of developing partnerships with key stakeholders, and a core part of this is the development of memorandums of understanding (MoUs). The MoUs provide for a basis of agreement and engagements between the university and businesses, organisations, or individuals to undertake collective action in internship placement in particular, and community engagement in general.
In Gulu University’s case, the MoUs are focused on student internships placements, community development projects and community-focused research. Key aspects of the MoU are the commitment to host a certain number of student placements each academic year; specification of the roles and responsibilities of the university and partners, and specification of what each partner will expect/benefit from the relationship. This is critical as the success of community engagement depends on mutual understanding and benefits for all involved parties.
As the University's commitment to a community integrated approach to curriculum design has developed, the JAG members have been asking for the formalisation of this long-term commitment to the community. In response, Gulu University has developed a community engagement policy and approved the establishment of a directorate of community engagement. Once operational, the Directorate of Community engagement will be responsible for the development of MoUs with community members, ensure community participation in curriculum development and reviews, and documenting and sharing experiences of community engagement activities with university partners.