Rural Academic Excellence - Including Homestay


To build rural academic excellence at UKZN, to support a decentralized training platform and to support the development of the CRH. The components include

  • Building the rural decentralized training platform
  • Supporting capacity development of the CRH
  • Improving care in one district (risk management project)
  • Supporting a community of practice around rural clinical education


A key component of the overall Rural Academic Excellence was the purchase of the Murchison Site, which was declined by the University. Following engagement with both Atlantic Philanthropy and the UKZN structures, the funding was re-directed to establishing a project exploring the use of homestays as a way of exploring the University’s engagement with communities, community-embeddedness of the students as well as a solution for accommodation. The project is proving to be very popular with the students and more than half of the student in each of the groups of students are volunteering for the project and considerable experience has been gained in how to manage a homestay process. As part of the process UKZN housing (responsible for residences) was approached to explore whether such a project could be institutionalized. After the visit to the homes and interacting with the students staying there, it is clear that there is immense potential for such an approach to become an option for students. It would also redefine how the University engages in the communities where students are placed.

At UKZN the decentralized training platform has formally become a key strategic objective for both UKZN and the DOH and detailed plans for the decentralization are well advanced in all Schools involved with clinical training.