It is another proud moment for the Durban University of Technology (DUT) as the institute was awarded the 2021 Global Award for Innovation and Excellence in Internationalisation by the Association of International Education Administrators (AIEA), based in the United States, which hosted a virtual ceremony on Tuesday night, 16 February 2021.
This is exciting news for DUT as it is said in the long history of the AIEA, this is the first time that a university outside of the US and Europe was honoured with this award.
The Director of the International Office at DUT, Dr Lavern Samuels said DUT scooped this award due to its innovation and internationalisation, doing things differently, using virtual engagements and finding new ways in engaging internationalisation over the last few years. He said DUT has taken internationalisation beyond academic mobility but internationalising the curriculum so that the benefit is felt across the university and not just for a few students and staff.
“It is a unique honour for us to receive this award, particularly with it not being awarded to any other South African university before. It allows us to take our place in international education as a university of excellence and that makes us really proud. It follows up on many other accolades for the university, particularly the rankings that we achieved in 2020. It builds the reputation of the university and that means a lot for us to be recognised as a university of excellence,” said Dr Samuels proudly.
He said ordinarily DUT would have been invited to the US to receive this award, however this year AIEA hosted a virtual conference, therefore they only attended virtually.
A big thank you goes to the team at the International Office, whom Dr Samuels said had worked really hard to ensure that DUT remains at the cutting edge of the international education in the world.
“We have brought in collaborative online international learning as the form of virtual engagement. We have engaged with partners across the world and we have engaged in internationalisation of the curriculum. We have worked hard with faculties and units in ensuring that internationalisation is embedded into the activities of the university. It is aligned to Envision 2030, by doing this it helps drive the strategy of the university and contributes to the achievement of that strategy,” said Dr Samuels.
To win similar awards, Dr Samuels said that they need to ensure that they are at the cutting edge of internationalisation, innovating, looking at new ways of staying relevant and being able to deal with global issues as they emerge, not relying on old ways of doing things. He said they have to use technology and ensure that internationalisation impacts on the university and its core business, make waves in the world so they can be noticed for their excellence in their work.
Pictured: DUT’s Director of International Office, Dr Lavern Samuels