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The Dean of Students at the Durban University of Technology (DUT), Dr Maditsane Nkonoane was nominated as an honorary ‘Golden Key’ member for recognition of not only his academic success but also his contributions to student success.   

Becoming part of the prestigious Golden Key Society, an internationally recognised, non-profit organisation affiliated with over 400 universities worldwide, is only granted through an honorary membership to a few individuals that epitomise the Golden Key’s values of engagement and overall excellence in their chosen field. Golden Key is South Africa’s first honour society and DUT is one of only two Universities of Technology’s (UoT’s) to be affiliated with the society. 

Speaking about his exciting new appointment as an honorary member of the Golden Key International Honour society, Dr Nkonoane said he was looking forward to his new role. 

“It is indeed, an honour to be part of a large network of illustrious achievers from all walks of life, some of whom can assist in the advancement of my career in the field of student affairs, especially my research interests on building capacity for student affairs practitioners responsible for student governance,” he said ecstatically. 

He further said that effectively, Student Services is housed within the Registrar’s Division, thus playing a critical role in the student life cycle. He also said that through exposure to Golden Key International Society of Honour and with assistance of other previous recipients of honorary membership, it is envisaged that the division will continue to enhance student life and experience through the pursuit of excellence and ethical leadership.  

Dr Nkonoane stressed that the Student Services Sector is currently the curator of Holistic Student Support (SIKUSEKELE-WE GOT YOU) focus area of Siyaphumelela-We Succeed 2.0, through the benevolent funding of Kresge Foundation for the next three years. 

“Our main purpose is to assure holistic student support for student success. Together with other past honorary members within the Registrar’s Division, we envisage to strengthen ties with the international network of illustrious recipients in order to unlock exposure for our best performing students who themselves are guaranteed of membership of this prestigious society,” he said.  

With the Envision 2030 and the aim of improving lives and livelihoods and producing adaptive graduates, Dr Nkonoane explained how his department encourages and aims to implement the goals of DUT’s strategy plan. 

“As at November 2019, we embarked on a project of international exposure for a select group of 10 student leaders, who through the benevolence of the Office of the Vice-Chancellor, were sent on a 10-day study tour at one of our partner institutions in China. Upon their return, this group has been enrolled on ENVISION 2030 Champion scheme with two of them pursuing post-graduate studies through funding from the Hlomisa Skills Academy,” he said.   

He further relayed that in pursuit of the development of adaptive graduates, the Student governance and Development department is hard at work towards the establishment of a Leadership Academy whose main purpose would be to develop leadership skills among our non-positional leaders beyond the SRC. 

“Finally, in pursuit of digitisation as required within the Systems and Processes Perspective, the university will for the first time conduct online SRC elections through an internally developed online platform,” he said excitedly. 

Also, he spoke on the fourth industrialisation and how it impacts the institution. 

“The university is on course towards bridging the gap, however, the greatest impediment remains dwindling funding for higher education and as such generation of third stream income through innovative projects remains key to unlock further opportunities,” said Dr Nkonoane. 

Pictured: Dr Maditsane Nkonoane

Waheeda Peters

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