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Monday, 20 September 2021

Education lecturer selected for prestigious programme

ENCHANTMENT: The Senior Phase and Further Education and Training Department Senior lecturer, Dr Zayd Waghid, is selected to be part of the Future Professors Programme for 2021/2022. ENCHANTMENT: The Senior Phase and Further Education and Training Department Senior lecturer, Dr Zayd Waghid, is selected to be part of the Future Professors Programme for 2021/2022.

Dr Zayd Waghid is “honoured” after being selected by the Department of Higher Education (DHET) for the Future Professors Programme for 2021/2022.

The prestigious Future Professors Programme, which is managed by the University of Johannesburg on behalf of the DHET, is intended to support successful participants in cultivating their capabilities, dispositions, knowledge and provide them with resources needed to navigate the expectations and requirements of the professoriate.

Waghid was selected out of 114 candidates from 26 public universities.

 Reflecting on this feat, the Senior Phase and Further Education and Training Department Senior lecturer says: “The programme is a milestone in my short academic career of six years since it vindicates my status in joining the professoriate in the near future,” he continues.

“I am grateful that I was selected out of a pool of top-performing candidates from 26 universities in the country. The process was quite rigorous and only 29 out of 114 candidates were successfully approved and accepted by the Minister of Higher Education, Dr Blade Nzimande.”

Waghid regards his selection as a vindication of CPUT’s status in establishing itself as a “Smart university” concerning teaching, research and community engagement in the 21st century. “Personally, it is a significant milestone and with that I am honoured to have achieved thus far.”

Since joining CPUT in 2015, the Cape Town-born researcher has always established short-term or long-term targets to provide himself with some direction. The son of a distinguished Stellenbosch University Professor, Yusef Waghid, believes that working smart is key to delivering the core elements of a university educator, namely, teaching, research and community engagement.

“I do not treat these underlying core elements of an academic in isolation but instead integrate them.”

Waghid’s research always informs his teaching, and likewise, his teaching always informs his research, which further significantly influences his encounter with establishing a meaningful relationship with both the local and international community. Asked about his mentor, Waghid responds: “My father is an important figure in my life as a mentor in my research capacity. My family have always supported me and shaped me into the person I am”.

The support that he has received from his family is key to his academic success and he believes that if there are support structures in place to assist one to perform as an academic, “then it ameliorates the burden on one emotionally and, in some instances, physically”.

Earlier this year, Waghid acquired a National Research Foundation Y-Rating at the age of 35 years which is “also a significant milestone in my career as a researcher”.  The hard-working researcher has been involved in several collaborative research projects with colleagues at other universities in South Africa and from other countries. This has led to the recent publications on remote teaching and learning during the current pandemic, which he envisages sharing with the CPUT community.

In his spare time, Waghid does not engage in any scholarly activity, but he reads to his children or goes running. “I enjoy engaging with new forms of technology, which seems to have brushed off on to my kids.” However, Waghid concedes that juggling between his busy work schedule and family is quite challenging, but he says one needs the correct support mechanisms in place. “You need to somehow balance between what is more important and always consider your family and health. I believe that there needs to be a level of negotiation.”

His aspiration is to become an established researcher and to continuously enhance my teaching. Waghid believes that one never stops learning from one’s practices and that there are always ways to grow. “However, this depends on the willingness to reimagine new possibilities.”

Written by Aphiwe Boyce