Sarah Oliver


Email address:

Office:                  PD Hahn, Level 7, 7.38.9

Role in GC:          Course Convener

Portfolio:             GC2 and GC4

Field of study:    Social Anthropology


  • How and when did you get involved with the GC programme?

    As a student I was very involved in community engagement work, through the student development agency Ubunye. Therefore, as an Anthropology Honours student in 2015, I wanted to focus my thesis on the spaces of connection between university and community. I asked questions about the role of community engagement in higher education, exploring how community engagement is one way of breaking down the knowledge hierarchies of academic institutions, as it connects learning to students’ real life experiences. These questions led me to the Global Citizenship Programme, and I used the Social Infrastructure Course as a case study for my research, as one site where steps are being taken to create horizontal learning processes between the university and communities.

  • What influenced your decision to join the GC staff?

    I was struck by the unique space that GC creates for its students; Space for open dialogue, self-reflection and critical thinking. With my previous facilitation experience, in the youth development sector, I was very drawn to the methodology and pedagogy of GC. I therefore joined the team as a course facilitator and led GC2 and GC1 in 2016. In 2017 I took on the role of project lead, for the pilot partnership course with Sol Plaatje University, ‘Active Citizenry through Deliberation and Dialogue’.

  • What do you find most exciting about being part of the GC team?

    The GC team is a very dynamic space, with incredible people, buzzing with innovation and energy. The thing I value the most about the team is the intentionality with which everything is thought through and considered. Each moment of a session or meeting is carefully unpacked, through a critical lens of social justice, which means I’m constantly learning and growing through my work.

  • What is the one thing you think people should know about you?

    Other than work, my creative outlet is through music and dance. I’m a modern dance teacher with the South African Body of Dance, and find it a great way to release the stress of the day!