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Monday, 01 August 2016

Extraordinary Women: Prof Chris Winberg

EXPERT RESEARCHER: South African Research Chair in Work-Integrated Learning, ProfChris Winberg EXPERT RESEARCHER: South African Research Chair in Work-Integrated Learning, ProfChris Winberg

Professor Chris Winberg is one of only two women heading research chairs at CPUT.

The National Research Foundation supported the South African Research Chair in Work-Integrated Learning (WIL) with funding and awarded it to Prof Winberg last year.

The research chair in WILseeks to build knowledge in professional, vocational and technical education which includes traditional professional programmes as well as new and emerging professions that have the purpose of preparing candidates to engage meaningfully with the world beyond the university.

“By finding convergence between educational interests and those of communities and workplaces, my research has relevance for local economic development as well as for institutional development, in particular the strengthening of the University of Technology (UoT) sector,” says Winberg.

Her research contributes to an understanding of how vocational education might play a more prominent role by reconfiguring its practices in support of local needs, and the findings suggest that UoTs need to make regional dynamics a more explicit part of their strategy, improve access to their programmes through multi-agency collaboration as well as take advantageof opportunities to develop joint profiles and grow strong alliances.

“I am researching sites of collaboration to understand how hybrid teams (scientific, professional, governmental and community-based) develop a common language, create new identities and build a shared knowledgebase,” she says.

Ongoing research projects include curriculum development, the professional development of university teachers, academic leadership, institutional development for vocational education, appropriate learning technologies in vocational education for the productive convergence of work and learning as well as technical and professional literacies.

Winberg leads the Work-Integrated Learning Research Unit and her research focus is professional and vocational education (with a particular focus on engineering education), the professional development of university teachers and technical communication.

Written by Kwanele Butana

Email: butanak@cput.ac.za