During a Strategic Session held at Ditsela Place, Pretoria, the ICT Alumni Committee laid out plans to garner third-stream income to support the Faculty’s flagship projects. The key objective of the Committee is to attract necessary resources from prospective donors, partners, and alumni to improve the learning experiences of ICT students.
In her welcome address Committee Chairperson, Keabetswe Ramantshane, reminded the ten-member committee of the importance of committing to the success of their alma mater. The members identified four focal pillars to kick-start the process:
(i) Ensuring continuous development of the curriculum aligned with the expectations of the broader ICT industry on expertise such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), fiber and network extension, was high on the agenda.
(ii) Facilitating at least ten stakeholder engagements with public and private organisations locally and abroad.
(iii) Sourcing partners to support TUT with infrastructure needs.
(iv) Facilitating ICT community upliftment needs, especially in areas where TUT campuses are situated.
Ramantshane said the ICT Alumni Chapter is exploring partners that may be of benefit to ICT and applying Artificial Intelligence (AI) related solutions to societal problems. “This Chapter is keen on encouraging the exploration of emerging technologies like big data and machine learning to generate realistic solutions” she added. This Alumni Chapter is in the process of developing a concept document that will capture its main strategic objectives. Ramantshane added that the Chapter aims to establish platforms for information sharing, which will essentially help to accelerate the development of solutions to societal problems.
While finalising their strategic plan, the ICT Chapter Committee currently already supports two Faculty initiatives. The first is the University Hackathon Series (UHS) initiative that aims to extend hackathon provisioning to all learning sites in Soshanguve, Polokwane and the eMalahleni campuses. The second initiative is Girls in ICT, which aims to empower girls and promote the rise of females in the predominantly male tech industry. Moreover, committee members are supporting the ICT-adopted high school in Hammanskraal, providing resources such as furniture and computers.
The manager of ICT First Year and Foundation Unit, Mashitishi Phurutsi, additional member of the Chapter Committee, commended the efforts of the committee saying: “Whichever strategic positioning the Alumni Chapter ultimately proposes, the committee should ensure that students are at the centre in its the mission.”
Launched in June 2023, the ICT Alumni Chapter has swiftly responded to the clarion call by Vice Chancellor and Principal, Prof Tinyiko Maluleke’s “move TUT from good to great”.
The establishment of Alumni Chapters is part of the University’s Alumni rejuvenation Strategy, which was initiated by the Advancement Office in 2022 to bridge the gap between TUT and its graduates.