To build mutually beneficial collaborations, the Durban University of Technology (DUT) hosted the Principals and Life Orientation (LO) Educators Workshop both on Microsoft Teams and at the Drakensburg Hotel on Wednesday, 13 October 2021.The workshop consisted of 45 principals and LO educators hosted at the venue.
Facilitating the proceedings of the workshop was Zwakele Ngubane, Director: Advancement and Alumni Relations at DUT. He mentioned that despite the havoc caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, education continues, stating that DUT ensures this through online teaching and learning.
“Part of our strategic plan is to ensure that we have the necessary facilities, infrastructure and technology to ensure that we are a resilient university that continues to function even when circumstances are challenging,” added Ngubane.
Delivering the official welcome, Alan Khan, Senior Director of Corporate Affairs at DUT said DUT was delighted and honoured that the Principals and LO educators have invested their precious time in being part of the workshop.
“A university that offers quality education, with innovative curricula and research, that is investing in state-of-the-art infrastructure, supporting a digital environment, that at its very DNA is people-centred and engaged, innovative and entrepreneurial, working hard to improve lives and livelihoods, is prepared to focus and face the decade ahead. That university ladies and gentlemen, which is creative, distinctive and impactful is one of the Top 5 universities in South Africa, one of the Top 500 universities in the world. I am proud to say that according to the Times Higher Education World University Rankings in London, the number1 University of Technology in South Africa, that university is DUT,” said Khan.
Highlighting DUT’s strategic direction, ENVISION2030, Professor Darren Lortan revealed that DUT’s statement of intent is quite clear.
“By 2030, our people will be creative, innovative, entrepreneurial and adaptive to changes in the world. Our people will participate productively in the development of the region, country and the world. Our state-of-the-art infrastructure and systems will enhance an ecosystem created to achieve this vision. Very ambitious, I am pretty sure you can tell. We are aiming for the stars and have even considered the possibility of reaching the moon. Our strategic map is based on four perspectives, all beginning with a letter s, Stewardship, Systems and Processes, Sustainability and Society. Stewardship and Systems and Processes are intended to be enabling perspectives. As stewards we want to be collaborative and creative as a DUT Community, inviting your students, your staff to become part of our community, especially if you share our values and principles,” noted Prof Lortan.
He further explained that DUT wants its Systems and Processes to function to a point where they are fundamentally changing the university with respect to its digital and physical environment. Unpacking DUT’s vision for Sustainability, Prof Lortan said DUT wants to be great influencers when it comes to sustainable futures and impact society in a constructive and beneficial way.
Participants also had a chance to learn briefly about the different faculties at DUT. The Faculty of Accounting and Informatics Executive Dean, Prof Oludayo Olugbara spoke briefly about his faculty and some of the exciting projects they are working on.
He highlighted that his faculty is the second largest faculty in the university with more than 9000 students and the main location is at Ritson Campus, in Durban.
“We have been able to adapt the DUT ENVISION2030 Statement of Intent. Our Statement of Intent for 2030 is that we will empower our people to be leaders, creative, innovative, entrepreneurial and adaptive to the changes of the world. Our values are fairness, accountability and integrity. We have seven departments within our faculty,” said Prof Olugbara.
Presenting on the Faculty of Applied Sciences, the faculty’s Deputy Dean, Prof Tukayi Kudanga said their faculty is one of the research intense faculties in the university, however, also very active in terms of academia and programme offerings. He stated that their mission and values are very much aligned to the ENVISION2030. He mentioned that the faculty offers 38 qualifications and has eight full professors and 13 Associate Professors.
Prof Runette Kruger, Executive Dean: Faculty of Arts and Design said they have three fields of study, which are Arts and Design, Media Language Practise and Education, spread across the seven departments.
Representing the Faculty of Health Sciences, the faculty’s Executive Dean, Prof Gugu Mchunu said they offer a wide range of programmes for health professionals and is able to cater for most students interested in the health and wellbeing of the communities. She stated that they use Innovative Curriculum and Research, as part of an engaged university working with communities on a wide range of programmes as part of their ENVISION2030.
According to Prof Mchunu the faculty has 11 academic departments and support departments at Ritson and Midlands Campuses.
From the Faculty of Management Sciences, the Deputy Dean, Prof Melanie Lourens indicated that it is the largest faculty at DUT with under 10 000 students. She said their vision is to become the preferred faculty for developing research leadership, innovation and productive citizenship in the management sciences.
Student entrepreneur with a passion for fashion, Ms Diva Mobedi shared her entrepreneurial journey and support she received from DUT in making her fashion designing business a reality.
The workshop ended with a robust question and answer session, after the educators were afforded the opportunity to ask questions or seek clarity on some of the offerings at DUT.
Explaining DUT’s entrepreneurial support to students, DUT’s Student Recruitment Manager, Mr Alex Mdletshe said this was to ensure that DUT students do not leave the university only as job seekers but also as job creators. He also awarded the participants prizes in appreciation of their attendance and participation.
In closing, Mdletshe thanked the presenters, participants and his team from the Department of Student Recruitment for making the workshop a huge success.
Pictured: Participants at the Principals and LO Educators Workshop hosted by DUT.