One of the Durban University of Technology’s (DUT’s) strategic focus areas is to deepen the University’s engagement through dynamic dialogue and interfaces at global levels.
The DUT aims to always ensure students and staff alike are given opportunities to do research and collaborate on an international level, and are proud to have staff members and current PhD students, Elliot Makhathini and Nomashodo Siluma, travelling to the State University of New York (SUNY) in December 2018, for a week, to enhance their social, intellectual as well as technical capacities.
Makhathini, a clinical instructor for undergraduate students at the Department of Nursing, and Siluma, a lecturer at the Community Health Studies in the Child and Youth Care programme, both hope to gain knowledge and skills that will enhance collaborative online international learning between DUT and the US University.
“My area of research involves collaboration between indigenous healers and biomedical health practitioners in the health sector. My Master’s was investigating the preventive and promoted health care in the practice of indigenous healers. This trip has created an opportunity for me to clearly demonstrate to the Americans that human phenomena are complex. They cannot be explained exclusively by linear perspectives such as the biomedical model despite its merits,” said Makhathini. He also added that this trip will also enable him to observe the American Western health care with its methods and implements.
For Siluma, she said that her role will be to represent the Department of Community Health Studies and the Child and Youth Care programme so it can benefit from the COIL initiative, and she hopes to gain the opportunity to be an important partner in the Internationalisation of the curriculum at DUT.
She added that enhancing online learning and teaching approaches, and involving local and international students to promote the understanding of diversity, which aligns to the DUT Strategic Plan in a number of areas is also her focal point.
Makhathini also added that DUT had played a major role in nurturing him to the point that he is, adding that DUT created an enabling environment in which he will be able to share important research-related information with other academics. He also stressed that he is also looking forward to having an opportunity to learn about the SUNY ULSTER nursing programme.
Siluma said DUT also developed her skills and know-how and has provided a number of interactive and hands-on workshops to introduce all to the COIL concept, as well as to provide practical tools for the implementation of a COIL project. “These workshops are designed to complement the SUNY COIL Orientation and Academy to prepare the faculty for the development and design of a COIL project,” she added.
Both are very excited to embark on their first international trip overseas and are hoping to also do some sight-seeing besides focusing on their academic trip.
Pictured: Elliot Mqansa Makhathini and Nomashodo Mirriam Siluma.