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News
Friday, 07 August 2020

Apply now to unlock your future

Applications for the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) have been formally opened for students from needy and working-class backgrounds with a household income of not more than R350 000 per year.

Thursday, 06 August 2020

Guiding postgraduates to graduation

The Centre for Postgraduate Studies (CPGS) has joined forces with the Research Directorate for a series of online workshops aimed at helping postgraduate students on their journey to graduation.

Former Education Faculty Dean, Prof Thobeka Mda, will not let retirement divorce her from her age-old passion – teaching.

Mda, who retired from CPUT’s employ at the end of June, is planning to render services in educational environments and projects when normal life resumes in the country after lockdown.

“I had informed some NGO (Non-Governmental Organisation) people before retirement that, after I retire, I would gladly join them in the projects they are doing,” she says. “My passion has always been teaching, and so, if an opportunity to teach becomes available, that is what I’ll be doing.”

Currently the education fundi is still enjoying her new freedom. “I love that I can sleep in every day, I can drive to the seaside just to feel the sea breeze on any day of the week and at any time of the day, because I do not have work engagements.”

She recently discovered in her study some “leisure books” she had not read, so on sunny days she sits outside her house and reads a book.

Mda joined CPUT as the faculty’s Dean in the middle of 2012 from a five-year stint at the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC).  She had spent the previous 13 years at the University of South Africa where she started as a Senior Lecturer in 1994 and rose to the position of Dean of the Faculty of Education between the years 2000 and 2004. All in all, the former high school teacher has spent 33 years in the higher education sector. 

During her reign, the Faculty enjoyed the following highlights and achievements:

  • While in 2012 only 18 staff members had doctoral degrees, in 2019, however, 47 staff members were qualified doctors;
  • In terms of research outputs, the Faculty had 10.2 units in 2012 but a whopping 37.98 in 2019 (for 2018);
  • The launch of the Centre for International Teacher Education, linked to the appointment of the National Research Fund’s first SARChI Chair for Teacher Education, Prof Yusuf Sayed. “The event was a grand occasion, attended by all the who’s who in Higher Education and the research community in South Africa, testifying to the stature of Prof Sayed,” says Mda.
  • For the first time two honorary doctorates were awarded in the Faculty to Dr Brigalia Bam and Dr Marlene le Roux. “Both candidates are such highly esteemed persons, that it is an honour for the Faculty to count them as part of the Faculty alumni,” she adds.
  • The Faculty is currently hosting four Research Chairs, the highest number hosted in a single Faculty at CPUT, namely:
    • Prof Yusuf Sayed appointed the NRF SARChI Research Chair (2014-2018; 2019-2024) in Teacher Education.
    • Prof Rajendra Chetty was appointed the CPUT Research Chair in Literacy Development (2016-2021). Prof Chetty resigned in 2018 and was replaced by Prof. Janet Condy, to compete the term up to 2021.
    • Prof Chris Winberg – NRF Chair in WIL (write out)– 2016 - 2021;
    • Prof Joyce Nduna appointed SETA Research Chair in WIL in TVET Colleges 2015-2018; 2020)
  • The Faculty held their first Faculty Day on 31 August 2019 and showcased the great work done by staff and students as well as the commitment of the staff. The Language Lab was also officially opened on the same day.

 Mda says she will miss the university’s graduation ceremonies, especially those at which she officiated.

“Graduation ceremonies are joyous occasions for everyone. The joy, pride and sense of achievement shared by the graduands, their families, the academic staff, postgraduate supervisors, Faculty support staff, Assessment and Graduation Centre, Marketing and Communication Department, technicians, and university management, fill the hall, during each ceremony,” she continues. “All these stakeholders celebrate the culmination of all the hard work that has led to this moment.”

 

 

The Universities South Africa (USAF) Transformation Managers Forum (TMF) is collaborating with SA’s 26 universities on a series of transformation webinars. CPUT will host the virtual Transformation Webinar, Series 2: Teaching and Learning Practices and Assessments on 7 August from 16h00 to 18h30.

Esteemed researcher, Prof Jeanine Marnewick, has won the Communication Award of the National Science and Technology Foundation-South 32 Awards, known as the Science Oscars of South Africa.

The collaboration between CPUT and Koblenz University of Applied Sciences (KUAS) has yielded a life-changing job opportunity for a CPUT student to work as a Research Assistant in Germany.

The state of TV journalism was the focus of a thought-provoking webinar recently presented by the Media Department.

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