The discussion was facilitated by Dr Edgar Nesamvuni, Acting
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (DVC): Postgraduate Studies, Research and Innovation. In
his introduction, he said: “Transformation is a relevant issue, both in the
country and within the University. We already have a relationship with the
Haaga-Helia University which has benefitted staff members.”
He added that the 32 staff members in Vocational Teacher
Education, who have already completed the programme and graduated in February
this year, had nothing but praise for the course because it speaks directly to
some of the needs of the institution.
In his welcome address, Prof Lourens van Staden, Vice-Chancellor
and Principal, spoke about the need to foster strategic relationships and
alliances as a university. “Poverty and unemployment are some of the biggest
challenges we face as a society. To address these challenges, we need to learn
from each other. We live in a global village, which means we can share and
exchange knowledge to find solutions to these problems,” he said.
The most prominent issues raised by members of the EMC were the
need for leveraging digital transformation as an institution, but also
remembering to bridge the digital divide as South Africa is a highly unequal
society. Other issues include the graduate attitudes towards society, and the
challenge to positively shaping student attitudes towards leadership,
entrepreneurship and responsible citizenship.
The second dialogue was conducted with business delegates from
Finland to explore new collaboration opportunities with TUT. Three universities,
namely Lapland University of Applied Science, University of Turku and Laurea
University of Applied Science were present, along with industry experts and
representatives from the Ministry of Education and Culture from Finland.
After introducing themselves, the guests spoke about how rapidly
the world was changing and the need to take advantage of these changes. They
also shared strategies to improve students and society as a whole. “We have had
over two decades of online programmes and we really try to make it flexible to
allow digital transformation to happen,” said Anthony Okuogume of Lapland
The guests also spoke about the transition from study to work
life and how many graduates struggled to adjust. In response to this, they had
developed strategies to incorporate specific industry needs to the curriculum,
In closing, Jouni Kangasniemi of the Ministry of Education in
Finland, spoke about their Open Science and Research Initiative to promote the
availability of research information and open science platforms. The main goal
of the Open Science and Research Initiative is for Finland to become one of the
leading countries in openness of science and research by 2017. The initiative
will support the implementation of the national policy agenda in a way that
fosters the Finnish research system towards increased competitiveness and higher
quality, transparency and innovation. This was the only initiative that was
discussed at the dialogue.
“We need to start with the smaller challenges before we can
tackle the big ones. Universities exist to help solve problems that mankind has,
since they are centres of knowledge,” concluded Kangasniemi.
Dr Eskia Moraka, Acting Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Deputy
Vice-Chancellor of Student Affairs and Extracurricular Development, closed the
meeting and thanked the guests on behalf of the University for the productive
For more information on the Tshwane University of Technology please contact
Willa de Ruyter on tel: 012 382 5352 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.