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Thursday, 23 September 2021

Two young lecturers are rising stars

STARS: Abigail Robertson and Bongolethu Sandile Busuki STARS: Abigail Robertson and Bongolethu Sandile Busuki

Two junior lecturers, who recently presented their first academic research work at the 2021 HELTASA ECP Colloquium, are scheduled to present at an international conference in November.

The Department of Architectural Technology and Interior Design’s Bongolethu Sandile Busuku and Abigail Roberts are scheduled to present (virtually) at the 14th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation (ICERI2021). Busuku is an alumnus who graduated in 2016 with a BTech in Architectural Technology. He was also an ECP student and says the programme is very close to his heart.

Busuku was appointed as a junior lecturer in the Department’s Extended Curriculum Programme (ECP) in 2019 and he also teaches in the first-year programme.  

The presentation at the 2021 HELTASA (Higher Education Learning & Teaching Association of Southern Africa) ECP Colloquium, which was co-written and presented by the Head of Department, Rayner Moodley, was titled:  A diverse graduate.

Busuku said it mainly focuses on how educators could help prepare their students for the uncertainty of the job market while they are still at university.

“Entrepreneurship is a subject that is commonly taught and researched in business schools, but seldom if at all in Design departments. This then leaves our students hopeless after graduation, should they find themselves without employment. Introducing a mandatory entrepreneurship subject in the design programme would start to encourage a new way of thinking regarding their chosen profession, not just to be employment driven.”

The title of his work for ICERI 2021 is the promises to a black child.

“The aim of this study was to gain an understanding of the lived experiences of young black graduates who were once hopeful students but now, after graduation, find themselves without employment.”

Roberts, also an alumna, joined CPUT in 2019 as a part-time lecturer and returned in 2020 as a contract lecturer.

The topic of her presentation with Moodley at the 2021 HELTASA ECP Colloquium was A retrospective study: How COVID-19 affected pedagogical practices in Extended Curriculum Programmes.

The title of the abstract submitted to and accepted for ICERI2021 by Roberts and Moodley is From Face to Face to remote learning.

Moodley, who has been heading the Department since January 2021, said one of his first priorities was the development of junior staff to obtain their Master’s degree. “Through these conversations, I honed in on the need to actually expose junior staff to research and research activities. Following this, I initiated a Research SOS (RSOS) Programme that slots in and is supported by our Departmental Research Committee (DRC) The R-SOS sought to ascertain research interests of junior staff in order to get them to ‘write for research’. The only way to actually kick the idea off the ground was to co-write with the staff members. To this extent, Abi and I as well as Sandile and I are co-writing together.”

Architectural Technology and Interior Design  DRC Chair, Dr Mizan Rambhoros, said the two young researchers were rising stars in the department “whose interest in research-based teaching and teaching-based research both push and extend our departmental objectives whilst meeting the foci of the institution”.

“Their mentorship by the head of department is instrumental in their development – his initiative is changing the dynamic of our DRC and research profile of our department. As such our early-career researchers are encouraged and supported within a more enabling and collaborative research environment. We are confident in our growth, thanks to our proactive HOD and enthusiastic researchers like Abi and Sandile.”

Written by Ilse Fredericks

Email: Frederickskennediji@cput.ac.za