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Nurturing a people-centred culture that embodies the Durban University of Technology’s (DUT’s) values and principles is what drives programmes at the institution. The university aims to have a direct link with its graduates and nurture a lifelong relationship between alumni and their alma mater.  

In relation to nurturing links with alumni, the Advancement and Alumni Relations Office recently announced the establishment and launch of the Durban University of Technology (DUT) Alumni Mentorship Programme.

Alumni have an important role to play in the development of the institution and the Alumni Relations Office is tasked with initiating and implementing an Alumni Relations programme which will create a desire amongst alumni to identify with and support their alma mater i.e. DUT.  

Giving more feedback on the programme is Ronelle Lyson, Alumni Relations Co-ordinator, who said that the necessity for such a programme requires no motivation since the benefits and positive outcomes of mentorship are well-documented in the literature.

“Mentorship can serve as a key developmental aspect of an individual both personally and professionally. It can contribute to both emotional and intellectual development. It can also, inter alia, serve as a networking gateway that could potentially introduce the mentee to a variety of career opportunities through introductions made by the mentor,” she said.

Lyson further added that the programme provides many opportunities for growth, positive development, shaping of the appropriate mindset for success and overall improvement of attitudes and behaviour in the mentee.

She indicated that they are continuously recruiting; and currently have 117 mentors selected. When asked if there was a special criteria selection process is in place for would be mentors, she stressed that they have an online application process whereby mentors have to meet certain criteria to qualify.

She said that the criterias are that mentors have to be a DUT Alumnus or Alumnahave a minimum of five years in employment or self- employment as a business owner/entrepreneur, have leadership experience in either a professional environment or within various structures of one’s community.

She also said that the mentor must be committed and have the means to dedicate time to meet at least once every two months with one’s mentee.

“Mentors also benefit from this experience because one can also sharpen their leadership, life-coaching and guidance skills. Being a University that wishes to contribute towards the empowerment of our people, both students and alumni in this case, we have launched a programme wherein selected DUT Alumni would be afforded the opportunity to give back and contribute towards mentoring the next generation of leaders by mentoring current DUT students,” she relayed excitedly.

She indicated that the Advancement and Alumni Relations Office recently hosted a webinar to commemorate the launch of the Mentorship Programme, which was attended by alumni and pre-alumni.

Outlining more of the programme, Lyson said that the programme is being managed and administered through the Advancement and Alumni Relations office. 

“The office has collated a database of Alumni who have indicated their willingness to support as mentors as well as pre-alumni who are keen to be mentored. The matching of mentor to mentee is underway and we will be proceeding with the mentorship from January 2021. The Advancement and Alumni Relations Office will next host an induction webinar for all successful candidates on 5 February 2021,” she said.

To join the programme, contact Ronelle Lyson Alumni Relations Co-ordinator on

Pictured: Ronelle Lyson, Alumni Relations Co-ordinator.

Waheeda Peters

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