The Tshwane University of Technology’s (TUT) Directorate of Quality Promotion (DQP) boasts four new qualifications among three of its staff members – all aimed at ensuring improvement of teaching and learning through effective academic development and quality initiatives.
Emily Mabote, Deputy Director, and Zama Simamane, Quality
Advisor, both obtained Postgraduate Diplomas in Higher Education (Academic
Developers) cum laude from the Rhodes University.
Simamane and Ziyanda Ngxabazi, also a Quality Advisor, were part
of the first group to complete the Teachers Vocational Programme offered by the
Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences in Finland.
The PGDip HE (Academic Developers), only offered by Rhodes, is
registered on the higher education qualifications sub-framework (HEQSF) at
honours level. The PGDip is work-based and enables the participants to use the
theoretical and conceptual basis to evaluate and improve practice. The purpose
of the qualification is to advance academic developers’ knowledge of higher
education as a field of study, and to enable them to conceptualise, design,
implement and evaluate formal and informal academic development initiatives
appropriate to our specific contexts. In addition, the PGDip is also targeted at
growing the next generation of academic developers.
The PGDip comprises of six modules offered over two years and
includes six, week-long contact sessions. The modules include: The higher
education context; Teaching and learning in higher education; Curriculum
development; Assessment of student learning; Development, enhancement and
assurance of quality teaching and learning; and Conceptualising and designing
contextually appropriate academic development initiatives.
Both Mabote and Simamane are full of praise for the course and
encourage academic support practitioners to enrol. “It provided me with
knowledge to improve my practice as a Quality practitioner,” says Simamane.
Mabote agrees, saying that it also broadened her knowledge of the higher
education context. “It is appropriate in addressing the knowledge and
competencies required for a person working in higher education, especially in
academic support and quality assurance,” Mabote adds.
Mabote and Simamane completed the qualification with the
assistance of the Teaching Development Grant (TDG) funding they received from
The Vocational Teacher’s Programme that Zama and Ziyanda
completed consists of six modules presented over a year, with six contact
sessions presented in South Africa.
The programme combines a strong theoretical foundation with an
investigative and developmental approach to teaching and the student-teacher
experience. It has a special emphasis on the integration of theory and practice,
as well as on encouraging students to participate in developmental efforts in
their own institutions. It fosters an investigative and development-oriented
approach to teaching. The course is designed to improve teaching styles at
higher education level.
Ngxabazi says that although she and Simamane are not lecturers,
the programme will assist them in their interaction with lecturers who they
liaise with as part of their daily work.
She adds that it was extremely interesting to get an
international perspective on teaching and learning, and that the evaluations of
lecturers who completed the course showed marked improvement.
For more information on the Tshwane University of Technology
please contact Willa de Ruyter on tel: 012 382 5352 or send an email to