” I find it very encouraging in terms of how the Strategic Planning Working Group (SPWG) were able to analyse what’s happening in the world, especially when the Durban University of Technology (DUT) community looks at the issue that most of the graduates in South Africa find themselves unemployed, however, the institution is now coming up with a new philosophy of teaching and learning that is going to make graduates that are going to be innovative and entrepreneurial,” said Robert Thema, WIL Coordinator from the Ecotourism Department based at the Riverside Campus.
He was speaking in response to the new proposed draft Strategic Map which forms part of the Strategic Plan Town Hall Engagements, held on Monday, 26 August 2019 at both Riverside and Indumiso Campuses in Pietermaritzburg.
The engagements also formed part of the recent Strategic Plan Town Hall Engagements presented by the Vice-Chancellor and Principal Professor Thandwa Mthembu and some members of the Strategic Planning Working Group (SPWG), regarding the presentation of the one-pager draft Strategic Map. This draft contains contributions from the DUT community that was obtained during consultations earlier in the year.
Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Professor Thandwa Mthembu also gave an overview of what the DUT community can expect in terms of new, exciting projects pertaining to infrastructure developments, such as more classrooms at the Engineering Department at the Indumiso Campus as well as a new, exciting student centre at Gate 5, Steve Biko Campus.
Explaining further on the draft Strategic Map Professor Ashley Ross, who is part of the SPWG, spoke on the new proposed DNA strands which are People-Centred and Engaged and Innovation and Entrepreneurial, adding that this is the DNA that the team hopes to build in the strategic plan in the next decade. “We SPWG feel strongly that these values and principles that we are making on our DNA needs to be lived values. We came across what is the living values education methodology, and the many higher education institutions that have subscribed to the living values education methodology, so now it’s how we can gauge the DUT community on these values, going forward,” he said.
Director: Planning, Policy and Projects, Nicky Muller who is also part of the SPWG, expanded more on the four new perspectives, which will be replacing the four Strategic Focus Areas in the current strategic plan (2015-2019). They are stewardship, systems and processes, sustainability and society. “We, (the SPWG) see the first two perspectives as being the enablers of the next two levels to bear fruition, it’s about being global with a local interplay,” she said.
Muller said that adding to the four perspectives will be 12 new strategic objectives, namely to nurture, foster, inspire, provide an innovative curriculum, adopt a digital environment, provide state-of-the-art infrastructure, create a distinctive education, produce financial stability, endorse a green ecosystem, have an engaged University, innovation and entrepreneurship and develop adaptive graduates.
She also added that the proposed draft vision statement of the University indicates that by 2030 it aims to have people entrepreneurial, innovative, creative and adaptive to the changes of the world; have people participate productively in the development of the region, country and the world, as well as to have state-of –the-art facilities and systems supported by an ecosystem created to achieve this vision. “By 30 November 2019, we hope to approve the strategic direction and there will be a number of engagements throughout the rest of this year, as well as a survey and competition regarding the one-pager strategic map,” she said.
The final Strategic Plan Town Hall Engagement took place at City Campus, today, 27 August 2019.
Pictured: Indumiso staff filling in questionnaires at the Strategic Plan Town Hall Engagement.