Prof Tinyiko Maluleke, the Vice-Chancellor and Principal making his acceptance speech.
“Being a good University of Technology was good in its time, but now, being a good University is no longer good enough”.
With the words quoted above, Prof Maluleke, challenged all TUT stakeholders, staff and students, to move out of their comfort zones and travel with him on a journey from good to great. In Prof Maluleke’s view, TUT has all it needs to execute the journey successfully – good foundations and the requisite strategy. He went on saying,
“I invite all the students of TUT, all the workers, academic and non-academic to join hands with me, as we together bid farewell to merely being a good University. Now is the time to use the good foundations to build a university that oozes, feels and performs greatness.”
Prof Maluleke noted the ability of TUT to attract and register more that 60 thousand students per annum. In picturesque and poetic language, he noted the TUT geographical footprint thus:
Two of our campuses stand smack in the middle of townships – making higher education both visible and tangible in the very spaces and among the very people whom Verwoerd had deemed incapable of higher learning. Madame Chancellor, we have a campus that sits on top of a mine in eMalahleni. We have a campus perched upon a hill at Mbombela. In the middle of Polokwane town, we have transformed a government garage into a tightly knit, clean and cool campus. TUT campuses stand like beacons of hope inside and outside the capital city.
Prof Maluleke further emphasised that the road to greatness begins when TUT chooses to become that University of Technology which only TUT can be in South Africa and in the world. “And if this was not obvious to anyone let this be made clear: Only TUT can be TUT in South Africa. When and if TUT fails to fulfil its destiny, TUT betrays its purpose and robs the nation in ways we cannot even begin to fathom,” said Prof Maluleke.
With TUT embarking on this new journey, Prof Maluleke also shared with staff, students, alumni, government officials, and royalty present, his desires to build on the institution’s success so far:
“The journey from good to great begins now, with TUT ditching the tendency to see itself as a university of last resort, so that it begins to compete successfully for the best students in in the land – students who will make TUT first choice for ICT, Engineering, Science, Arts, Humanities, Economics and Management Sciences. To this end, over and above the issues of quantity, we must infuse into our enrolment-planning an element of quality – the quality of the students we recruit.”
Sharing messages of congratulations, Dr Marcia Socikwa, Deputy Director General at DHET said: “We have faith in you Prof Maluleke and applaud TUT for putting you at the helm. …We pray for your success, and we will always be there to support you,” said Dr Socikwa.
Messages of congratulations continued to pour in from various stakeholders, government, fellow scholars, family and friends, including:
- Chancellor of the University, Dr Gwen Ramokgopa
- Tilson Manyoni, TUT Council Chairperson
- Risinga Maluleke, the Statistician General of South Africa, who performed a Xitsonga praise poem.
- Tsakane Maluleke, Auditor General of South Africa, who spoke on behalf of the Maluleke family
- Sho Majozi – rapper, poet and musician
- Yvonne Chakachaka - musician
- Dr Tebogo Rakgogo, Chairperson of the Institutional Forum
- Labour representatives, Jack Sibanyoni (Nehawu) and Jan Moeketsi (NTEU).
- Karabo Mohale, the Executive Deputy Chairperson, National Youth Development Agency (NYDA), representing TUT Alumni
- Nokwanda Khumalo, the Institutional SRC President General represented the student community.
“We are already on our way from good to great. Nothing and no one can stop us now,” said Prof Maluleke.
To conclude his lecture, Prof Maluleke concluded by paraphrasing the words of Martin Luther King Junior at Spellman College in 1960, but applying these words to his theme of moving TUT from good and greet.
If we can’t fly from good to great, we shall run, if we can’t run we will walk, when we can’t walk, we shall crawl, but whatever happens, we shall keep on moving from good to great.
Please click here to watch Professor Tinyiko Maluleke’s acceptance speech as Vice-Chancellor and Principal of TUT.