bullet point Introduction

The Association of Schools of Construction of Southern Africa (ASOCSA) was officially launched on June 20 2006 at the culmination of the First Built Environment Conference at the Balalaika Hotel in Sandton, Johannesburg, attended by a broad spectrum of construction industry stakeholders that included both academics and practitioners. These hailed not only from South Africa but from other parts of the world. The concept and launch of ASOCSA was supported by industry demonstrated by substantial sponsorships from prominent stakeholders such as Group 5, the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA), PPC Cement, Peri Wiehan and the Council for the Built Environment (CBE).

bullet point History

ASOCSA is not the first attempt to form a body that addresses, inter alia, matters of construction education and training. In the days of the Building Industries Federation South Africa and the National Development Fund there were regular annual meetings of the Heads of Departments that offered construction-related programs. Recognizing the two-tiered higher education sector in South Africa, there were separate meetings for universities and the former technikons. In the more recent past, the Chartered Institute of Building - Africa initially convened annual educators’ forums that did not quite fulfill the same function as the previous forums. However, during 2005 the very first meeting of University Heads of Departments drawn from all higher education institutions in South Africa met for the very first time since the re-landscaping of the sector in the same venue to discuss matters affecting construction, and particularly construction education in the country. This meeting was repeated in 2006 where the need was expressed for the establishment of a formal forum / association of universities to engage in discussion / debate / collaboration / promotion of matters of mutual interest.

bullet point Aims and Objectives

ASOCSA aims to be the professional association for the development and advancement of construction education in Southern Africa, where the sharing of ideas and knowledge inspires, guides and promotes excellence in curriculums, teaching, research and service. To achieve this aim ASOCSA is partnering with the construction industry to find ways to effectively represent the interests of both construction academic and industry practitioners. ASOCSA will offer a variety of programs and services designed to help its members serve their customers more effectively and succeed in an increasingly challenging environment of construction information management and technology. To this end ASOCSA provides a forum for the debate and discussion of issues of mutual interest to all industry stakeholders. For example, one of the tasks of ASOCSA will be supporting the development of curriculums that address the needs of the construction sector in the Southern African region. ASOCSA convenes an annual conference where construction academics and practitioners can interact relative to practical experience and the findings of relevant research.

The Journal of Construction presently published twice per year is the official journal of ASOCSA and more than 5,000 complimentary copies are distributed to all industry stakeholders in the Southern African region. The production and distribution of practice notes and technical papers is a further endeavor to grow the partnership between academia and industry.

With respect to the Southern African region, ASOCSA is committed to the following:

bullet point Vision

To be the custodian of construction related higher education.

bullet point Mission Statement

To promote, facilitate, develop and monitor the relevance and quality of construction related curricula, research and graduates in conjunction with higher education institutions, industry and government.

bullet point Strategic Objectives

  • to promote and facilitate the development of curricula for construction related programmes
  • to facilitate accreditation of construction related programmes
  • to hold an annual conference that acts as a forum for multi-disciplinary interaction between academics and practitioners
  • to publish an accredited research-based journal and contribute to the built environment body of knowledge (BEBOK)
  • to disseminate information dealing with construction education and related matters
  • to develop and maintain closer links with industry and government
  • to represent the collective views of its members
  • to liaise with other organisations and persons to promote the interests of its members
  • to promote and support relevant postgraduate research
  • to provide bursaries to postgraduate students in accordance with set criteria

ASOCSA continues to seek opportunities to promote both academic and industry employment opportunities. Finally, ASOCSA intends to play a significant role in the accreditation of construction-related academic programs.

bullet point Meeting of Heads of Schools and Departments of Construction

ASOCSA believes that meetings of Heads of School and Departments of Construction is a vital component of its functions and holds Heads meetings at the end of each conferences in addition to bi-annual Heads meetings.

bullet point International Affiliation

ASOCSA has commenced discussions about closer collaboration with similar institutions such as the Associated Schools of Construction (ASC) in the United States and the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

bullet point Member Benefits

In summary, benefits of membership of ASOCSA which are self-evident include participation in meetings of Heads of construction programs throughout the region, access to the Journal of Construction, reduced rates at all ASOCSA events, involvement at regional level with industry-academia forums, interaction and networking opportunities relative to, for example, collaborative research, curriculum development, external moderation of courses, and external examination

bullet point Tax Benefit

ASOCSA is a registered Public Benefit Organization as defined in Section 30 of the Income Tax Act and a registered Section 21 Company as defined in the Companies Act. Therefore all donations made to ASOCSA will be fully deductable for income tax purposes and a section 18A certificate, for proof of deductibility will be issued to the donor upon receipt of the donation. The deductable donations is limited to 10% of the donors' taxable income before providing for Section 18A and Section 18 deductions.