The Durban University of Technology (DUT) hosted the launch of the Chancellor’s Club on Monday, 19 November 2018 at DUT’s Hotel School, Conference Centre on the Ritson Campus.
This high-powered and intimate event was attended by the captains of industry and other influential external stakeholders. It was also graced by the presence of DUT Chancellor, Ms Nonkululeko Nyembezi, Chairperson of Council, Mr Wiseman Madinane and Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Professor Thandwa Mthembu as well as other members of the Executive Management and Council.
The Programme Director for the evening, Zwakele Ngubane (Director of Advancement and Alumni Relations at DUT) said the Chancellor’s Club is a platform that seeks to create synergies between DUT and influential stakeholders, towards the advancement of DUT programmes and mandate.
DUT Chancellor, Ms Nonkululeko Nyembezi said the current economic climate requires universities to come up with innovate interventions to address funding shortages within the sector. “The demand for institutions like DUT to do something is very big because the society expects us to come up with solutions. We are inviting you (business people and stakeholders) to think about what we can do to address these challenges collectively,” said Nyembezi.
She added that the launch of this initiative marks the beginning of a long and ambitious journey, and she is confident that eventually it will yield tangible results. “Think of tonight as the first step that when we look back 10 or 20 years later, we will say that this is the day we began on this great journey because we have a responsibility to mould young people who will address challenges of the modern society,” she said.
Addressing the invited guests, Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Professor Thandwa Mthembu said they chose to establish this venture (Chancellor’s Club) through the Chancellor (Ms Nonkululeko Nyembezi) because of her illustrious and influential network, established through her remarkable career as a businesswoman. “We believe that many people would like to follow in her path with DUT,” he said.
Prof Mthembu said statistics indicate that government investment towards education between the year 2000 and 2015 decreased, while in the same period, the number of enrolments within the public higher education sector increased drastically, adding that this challenge requires universities to come up with interventions and establish partnerships. “We have you here because we believe that you have extensive networks that can assist us. You are the friends of DUT, and we appeal to you that you point us in the right direction within your networks,” said Prof Mthembu.
Commenting on the mechanisms of the Chancellor’s Club, Prof Mthembu said, “This brainchild (Chancellor’s Club) will be a mobile one, it is mobile in a sense that we are going to host a series of such engagements across the country.”
Pictured: DUT Chancellor, Ms Nonkululeko Nyembezi.