The Durban University of Technology’s (DUT’s) Deputy Vice-Chancellor: People and Operations, Dr Isaac Machi recently participated in the International Association of University Presidents (IAUP) Leadership Workshop held in Aalborg, Denmark.
Some of the topics that were covered in the Workshop included: Governance of Colleges and Universities, Financial and Managerial Challenges, Institutional Innovation and the Role of Technology, Data Analytics and Institutional Responsiveness, Internationalization I – A Focus on Student Mobility and Institutional Advancement I: Friend Raising and Fundraising.
The three-day Leadership Development Programme was designed for new and emerging University Presidents (Vice-Chancellors). Dr Machi said this programme was unique and an enlightening experience as it explored the complexities of leading a University globally.
“One of the key lessons was that as leaders we need to be very clear about what needs to be done and communicate it effectively to those that we are leading. Another key lesson was that as leaders of universities, we are the pillars that are holding all the functionaries of the University together in execution of their respective responsibilities. University leaders should also be able to relate to a large number of constituencies; namely students, alumni, staff, parents, funders etc.,” he said.
Dr Machi said the aspect of being accommodative to different University constituencies resonated well with his portfolio as they are currently prioritising stakeholder management interventions for labour and students.
They also visited the Aalborg University were they were exposed to the University’s impressive model of how they deliver their programmes to students. “Their model of programmes delivery is designed for group discussions and lecturers are there to give guidance, even beyond the lecture rooms students are encouraged to engage as groups in other University activities. I think if we were to adopt this model it would assist our students not to have spare time which ends up tempting them to engage in activities that are not good for their academic development,” he stressed.
He added that he was impressed to discover that the approach that has been adopted by our Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Professor Thandwa Mthembu to engage extensively with University stakeholders on our new Strategic Plan, is an internationally endorsed practice across global universities.
Pictured: DUT’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor: People and Operations, Dr Isaac Machi flanked by other delegates at the IAUP Leadership Workshop.