Email us

Dr Eugene Machimana receives 2018 EASA postgraduate medal doctoral award
29 January 2018

Dr Machimana, Senior Lecturer at the Faculty of Veterinary Science and also previous Community Engagement Coordinator in the Faculty received the prestigious award at a special gala evening held at the Elangeni Hotel in Durban on 16 January.

The annual Education Association of South Africa (EASA) conference, this year hosted by the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal, presents a platform for higher education institutions to share their experiences through paper and poster presentations. EASA is an association that “strives to promote excellence in educational research and science by means of interactive network formation and inclusive discourse by developing education, training and community development”.  

Dr Machimana’s award is in recognition of the successful completion of his PhD degree and subsequent publications based on the study of which two papers were presented by him at the conference entitled:  

  1. Higher education-rural school partners’ expectations and power dynamics of a community engagement partnership
  2. Benefits and barriers of higher education community engagement in the South African rural school context: non-researcher partners’ perspective

He conducted a longitudinal study with the title:  Retrospective experiences of a rural school partnership: informing global citizenship as a higher education agenda: (available at: According to Dr Machimana his study at the Department of Educational Psychology in the Faculty of Education was conducted as part of a larger study called Flourishing Learning Youth (FLY), with Prof Liesel Ebersöhn as the principal investigator.

FLY is an intervention that builds on a collaborative community engagement-partnership, and was established in 2005 between the University of Pretoria, Faculty of Educational Psychology (Centre for the Study of Resilience) and a remote South African secondary school located in the Enhlanzeni District Municipality in Mpumalanga province. The main research purpose of FLY is to build knowledge of risk and resilience in rural schools by leveraging on higher education and school community engagement-partnership.

“It is indeed an honour to have received this award. Credit must go to Prof Ebersöhn for believing in me and for the nomination for the EASA award”, Dr Machimana says. He therefore also dedicated the award to his two study supervisors, Prof Ebersöhn and Dr Maximus Monaheng Sefotho.

“Many people contributed to the successful completion of my PhD degree whose support I really appreciate. Gratitude goes to Prof Henry Annandale, Mr Chris van Blerk and Dr Paul van Dam (Faculty of Veterinary Science) as well as Mr Pieter and Ms Wilna Swart in Fish Hoek, Cape Town. I furthermore appreciate the support that I received from all the partners involved in the long-term higher education-rural school community engagement-partnership”, he says.

Dr Machimana reserved special words of appreciation for his family: “My wife Nondumiso and Tomtenda and Tatenda (our handsome sons) paid a heavy price by living with an “absent” husband and father between 2013 and 2016 as they afforded me the space to pursue my doctoral degree. I will forever be indebted to them for this achievement. Thank you also to my mother, Ruth for encouraging me and granting us siblings the opportunity to study. How I wish that the late Mr John Lawrence Machimana, my father, was here with us so that I personally can thank him for his contribution to our lives”, he says.

Below: Dr Eugene Machimana (left) with his two study supervisors, Prof Liesel Ebersöhn and Dr Maximus Monaheng Sefotho at the gala evening in January 

- Author CvB
Share this page
Last edited by Primarashni GowerEdit
Dr Machimana with his award at the conference in Durban