Professor Ahmed Bawa, DUT Vice-Chancellor and Principal, discussed the University’s draft strategic plan which mainly focuses on engagement and student centredness with stakeholders at Mansfield Hall, Ritson Campus, on Tuesday, 19 August 2014.
The plan is set to be the University’s blueprint for success until review in 2018. During the engaging discussions of the draft plan, Prof Bawa reiterated that student centredness was in DUT’s DNA. He said engagement was equally fundamental as the way forward for the university.
“As an institution, we strive to improve the life chances and aspirations of our students. Our aim is to build engaged, ethical citizenry for a complex democracy.
In the process, we also want to expose students to the current challenges the country is facing such as building safe security, addressing poverty reduction, health security and water security,” he said.
Speaking on the theme of engagement, Prof Bawa said the plan is to build a learning society through broadening access for students as well as engaging with schools and community colleges.
“We have to strengthen the culture of research and innovation. The environment the university finds itself in is constantly changing. There is not a day when there is not something new in the global knowledge system and the global university system. Those changes are also in society and we have to create a learning system that responds to those changes.”
Another element of the strategic plan is expansion, which Prof Bawa said would create a sustainable University. This will be achieved through the expansion and renovation of DUT’s Pietermaritzburg campuses. An Engineering Faculty will be introduced at the Midlands Campus and Indumiso Campus will focus on Health and Education.
Anisa Vahed, Lecturer in the Dental Sciences Department said, “The engagement was helpful especially to those who had not been involved in the previous discussions. I think what he said is very important; that we really need to focus on being a student centred university and I like the idea of engagement to help the students grow and become exposed to the industry.”
The discussion was open to staff, students and members of the public. People attending the discussion had the opportunity to ask Prof Bawa questions, engage and provide suggestions with regards to the plan.
Prof Darren Lortan, former Executive Dean of the Faculty of Applied Sciences, said there were many great ideas in the strategic plan and their impact on different departments within the University would be seen when they have been discussed by the departments.
The latest version of the draft Strategic Plan is available on the DUT Staff Portal in the DUT Strategic Plan Folder.
– Gift Nyamapfene