The SAHECEF was launched at the end of 2009 with its Constitution being accepted in December 2009. This is a national forum where representation from all the higher education institutions in South Africa (private and public) occurs.
The objectives are:
Advocating, promoting, supporting, monitoring, and strengthening community engagement at South African Higher Education Institutions;
Furthering community engagement at Higher Education Institutions in partnership with all stakeholders with a sustainable social and economic impact on South African society; and
Fostering an understanding of community engagement as integral to the core business of higher education.
The University of Western Cape was instrumental in the organization of the SAHECEF launch and Prof. Priscilla Daniels was elected as an executive board member on this forum. The forum facilitates community engagement debates and discussion and the executive committee is tasked to liaise with the Council of Higher Education, the Higher Education Quality Committee and the Ministry in order to highlight the importance of community engagement and the challenges that Higher Education Institutions are faced regarding the institutionalization of community engagement.