Paper presented at the 28th Annual Southern African Transport Conference 6 - 9 July 2009 "Sustainable Transport", CSIR International Convention Centre, Pretoria, South Africa.
The paper seeks to share experiences on mainstreaming Rural Travel and Transport (RTT) in university curricula. In 1999, the Department of Rural and Urban Planning at the University of Zimbabwe was financially supported by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) to incorporate an RTT module in its curricula. The paper starts by building a contextual framework on the need to mainstream RTT in university curricula. This is achieved by providing a perspective on transport and development citing shortcomings of the applicability of conventional transport planning and articulates the importance of enhancing accessibility in rural areas as a way of alleviating poverty.Inclusion of RTT in university curricula improves an understanding of RTT issues and dispels the superiority of conventional transport. The adage "catch them whilst young" is pertinent as students are future policy makers. Apart from training incumbents knowledgeable in providing solutions to rural accessibility problems, a resource base in terms of literature emanating from students dissertations has been established. There are however challenges related to recruiting and retaining of appropriately qualified and motivated staff which has had a negative impact on sustainability.
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