The new Dean of Students says her passion for student affairs led her to CPUT.
Prem Coopoo, a seasoned student developer with a master’s degree in social work, joined CPUT last month.
She intends to develop a holistic student development plan and that starts with coming up with a framework that will guide each of the departments reporting to her on what is expected of them.
“Everyone needs to know that we need to be student-centred and contribute to student success and not hinder it. Each one should ask themselves ‘are we promoting student success or are we hindering it?’ ”
CPUT is a good institution which is robust with strong union involvement,” says Coopoo who has previously held the position of Dean of Students at both Wits and the North West University in the last 14 years.
During her reign CPUT students can expect a supportive and responsive environment which is proactive rather than reactive.
“They can also expect strict adherence to the university’s rules because we need to assist them with acquiring certain soft skills and if we don’t enforce compliance to our rules we won’t be helping them develop the right skills not only for the world of work but also life in general.”
She adds that students will have an opportunity to become the good citizens of the world. “We will provide the programmes but the responsibility lies with the students to grab the opportunity to grow and develop, so they can expect a positive student experience throughout their career at CPUT and beyond.”
She says that the university would like for its graduates to return for postgraduate studies or be involved in university life as alumni.
The dean is interested in creating “high performing residences”. These should be places of learning where students have a 100% chance of excelling academically and personally, where no violation of any residence rule will be tolerated.
“CPUT must encourage student activism through affiliation with clubs, organisations and student societies with very clear outcomes.”