Vol1 no3 2016
The Alumni newsletter of the
Tshwane University of Technology (TUT)
History in the making
Alumnus, Tina Machethe (27), from the Faculty of Management Sciences, proved that he is not just a butter knife but a real ‘machete’ after obtaining three B Tech degrees (Credit Management, Business Administration and Management) during the recently held University autumn graduations.
Tina says he chose to do three B-Tech degrees so that he could broaden his scope of specialization because he knew that this would open many doors for him. “I enrolled for three degrees to have a better and comprehensive knowledge of management and to be of great assistance in the workplace”.
His advice to fellow graduates who aspire to be like him is to “Take education as a lifestyle. It must not be the end of the journey if one has obtained a certificate or a diploma but a motivation to continue because it gives you an opportunity to increase your knowledge in different spheres”.
Tina Machethe with Dr Peter Ras, Head of Department - Management & Entrepreneurship.
Your view matters
WIN THIS OFFICE DESKTOP ANALOGUE WATCH
All you have to do is answer the following
question (don’t fret, you should get the answer somewhere in this edition): WHERE WAS MARIETTE SCHMIDT BORN?
Please send your answer, name and contact number to firstname.lastname@example.org before or on 31 July 2016. Please mark the subject field: COMPETITION.
The winner for last edition’s competition is Antoinette de Beer. Only registered TUT alumni can enter. Good luck!
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The Beat Goes On
Update from the VC
Our Beat has heeded your call for more in-depth information about your Alma Mater. From this issue onwards, we will provide insights on burning issues and other important developments at the University.
Bringing stability to TUT is a Council priority, hence the appointment of senior staff in strategically significant positions is an ongoing focus of Council. During the most recent Council meeting, the permanent appointment of Prof Stanley Mukhola as Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Teaching, Learning and Technology has been confirmed. Prof Mukhola has been acting in the position for an extended period of time. In addition to his already extensive portfolio as DVC: TL&T, Prof Mukhola was also seconded to the Soshanguve Campus late in 2015, to bring peace and stability to the campus. He has been instrumental in restoring order at those campuses and in maintaining an environment conducive to study and academic stability.
Another strategically important appointment that took effect on 1 May, is that of Ms Moretlo Mokuele, Executive Director of Human Resources and Transformation. The former Executive Director of Human Resources at the Walter Sisulu University has vast experience and knowledge of human resources dynamics within the higher education sector, which is expected to assist in effectively managing the labour related issues that lie ahead at TUT.
On the topic of Labour Relations, the TUT Council also approved an EMC proposal on the insourcing of outsourced services. The proposal, based on affordability and sustainability, will see the implementation of insourcing in the following way:
The initial insourcing will comprise cleaning services that are attached to Logistical Services. The other services will be insourced when their contracts expire, following thorough work studies to determine TUT’s operational requirements.
During the first phase of the in-sourcing of services, 290 individuals will be appointed by TUT as Cleaners on an agreed upon Peromnes level.
The University, as part of its Turnaround strategy, will also implement third stream income programmes to grow its revenue thus reduce its net deficits in the medium to long term.
Another issue that drew local and international attention late in 2015, is the so-called #FeesMustFall campaign, with students marching to the Union Buildings, calling for all higher education fees to be scrapped. The lack of funding for financially needy students is an ongoing problem and we plan to roll out a number of initiatives to help alleviate this chronic need. The TUT Bursary and Scholarship Fund launched in November 2014 is one example and Alumni are invited to support these initiatives. Your financial support will help us to stabilise, improve and sustain the University for future generations. Thank you for your ongoing support.
Jones Moloisane, one of the Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment’s most admired lecturer.
with Jones Moloisane
“I don’t see students, I see business partners”
Alexandra Township born Jones Moloisane is a critical thinker, Civil Engineering Consultant and cum laude TUT graduate and lecturer.
Moloisane spent most of his younger years in the former Bophuthatswana homelands where he grew up with his grandparents in Transactie Village. After matriculating, he enrolled at the then Technikon Pretoria under a fully funded bursary for National Diploma in Civil Engineering and, followed by a B Tech and M Tech (cum laude), all in Civil Engineering. He worked for nine years before returning to his alma mater’s Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment in 2005.
Outside TUT, he holds other qualifications which he pursued; a diploma in Project Management from Damelin College, an honours and Master of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Pretoria.
“Initially, I wanted to pursue medicine because I was really good at maths and physical science and excelled at chemistry. But I didn’t know better. There was no career guidance, so I told myself that there was no harm in studying civil engineering. Look at me now!” he says wryly.
Moloisane’s former lecturer and HoD of the Department of Civil Engineering at the time, head-hunted him for almost five years before convincing him to join the University. He is now a fulltime lecturer and Section Head of the Department of Civil Engineering.
His noteworthy industry expertise comes into play often since he works with countless voluntary associations and sits on a number of committees and the council of a regulatory engineering body.
He is a council member of the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA), sits on the Governing Group of the International Engineering Alliance (IEA), serves on the committees of the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) and the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA), to name a few.
“My involvement in the industry gives me great insight when it comes to lecturing. One never stops learning. I bring all my industry knowledge into the classroom and apply it. Engineering is practical. So far I don’t think lecturing has been my greatest challenge. The fact that lecturers are not trained as teachers was once a concern but not anymore. I can relate to my students and we have a great relationship,” he adds.
“I treat my students as equals in the lecture hall and I always stick to the rules, because one day they will be my business partners and we will embark on exceptional entrepreneurial journeys together.”
“He is one of the most hard-working people at the department. He is very inspirational too,” said his colleague, Salomé van der Merwe, the Departmental Administrator. “You will find him here on weekends and public holidays. I really don’t know how he does it, juggling work, family and other administrative tasks. But he does it so effortlessly that sometimes I’m convinced he’s got more hours in his days than the rest of us,” she adds.
Outside of work he enjoys reading history, biographies, commerce books and venturing into the great outdoors. He admires Richard Branson, world-renowned philanthropist and business magnate and Forbes recognised South African self-made billionaire Patrice Motsepe, the mining mogul.
The engineering boffin lives by simple principles in life, one being: The universe has different plans for you that you might not even have for yourself.
CHE VISITS TUT
and points out areas for improvement
A review panel of the Council on Higher Education (CHE) has praised TUT for the advances it has made to enhance the quality of teaching and learning and student success at the University, but it has also made several suggestions for improvements on this journey.
Some of the suggestions centred around promotions, performance management and workload, which could possibly prevent the proper development of young academics.
A three-member review panel of the CHE visited the University on 9 June to engage with staff (representing mostly academic and academic support environments) and students. The visit formed part of a Quality Enhancement Project (QEP), a national project initiated by the CHE to enhance student success at individual higher education institutions, as well as the higher education sector as a whole.
CHE has been established to develop and implement a system of quality assurance for higher education, including programme accreditation, institutional audits, quality promotion and capacity development, standards development and the implementation of the Higher Education Qualifications Sub-Framework (HEQSF).
During a verbal feedback session based on preliminary observations following the day-long deliberations, Prof Diane Grayson, Director of Institutional Audits at the CHE and one of the reviewers, said it was clear that there was a great amount of energy, enthusiasm, commitment and that the University has enormous resources to tap on. This sentiment was echoed by her fellow reviewers, Prof Elizabeth de Kadt and Mr Piet Roodt.
Promotions criteria, performance management and a mentorship programme for young academic staff were also highlighted as areas that need to be addressed.
Pictured at a site visit of the CHE to TUT are (from the left): Mr Theo Bhengu, Acting Director: Strategic Operations (TUT); Dr Caroline Selepe, Director: Quality Promotion (TUT); Prof Stanley Mukhola, Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Teaching, Learning and Technology (TUT); Prof Diane Grayson (CHE reviewer); Prof Elizabeth de Kadt (CHE reviewer); and Mr Piet Roodt (CHE reviewer).
Prof Grayson said young academics were often overloaded with teaching, whilst more time should be spent on their development. She added that some universities allow academics to choose the weighting of promotions criteria (for instance teaching versus research), and that it would make sense at a university like TUT. Concerning performance management, or a lack thereof, she said “it is an issue you’ll have to break through.”
Staff and students interacting with the CHE review panel.
Although the panel said it was impressed with the services available to staff and students, especially those offered by Curriculum Development and Support and Student Development and Support, it repeatedly stressed the importance of ensuring that such services are accessible and equitable at distant campuses as well.
“We’ve heard of some nice initiatives, but it will be good to have more discussions on best practices so that it could be implemented uniformly,” Prof Grayson said.
Another gap that was identified was a lack of adequate learning spaces for students. “The University should relook its e-campus masterplan and create more and improved learning spaces for students, for example areas with chairs and WiFi,” she alluded.
Another suggestion was that the University grows its own timber and utilise the available expertise, talent and skill to solve infrastructural and other challenges. Maximising the use of facilities, for instance enrolling part-time students, were also put forward to create income for maintaining and expanding teaching technology.
Although the panel was satisfied with interventions to receive student feedback, such as meetings with class reps and lecturer evaluations, it felt that it was applied “unevenly” and that the information was “not utilised.”
Dr Caroline Selepe, Director: Quality Promotion, and her team facilitated the visit. She expressed the Directorate’s gratitude to all staff and students who participated in the review sessions.
First black SRC president
of Technikon Pretoria
WHERE ARE THEY NOW?
COULD YOU PLEASE TELL US MORE ABOUT YOURSELF?
I was born in Galeshewe, Kimberley, and am 41-years-old. I studied at the former Technikon Pretoria and I hold a B Tech Agriculture degree in Animal production. I am currently the Executive Vice Chairman of the MLR Group of companies. The Group is a conglomerate of companies in various sectors of business based in Kimberley and I am responsible for the marketing and networking.
WHAT IS YOUR FONDEST MEMORY OF YOUR DAYS AS A STUDENT AT THE FORMER TECHNIKON PRETORIA?
When I was elected as the first Black President of the SRC.
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO BE INVOLVED IN STUDENT POLITICS?
When I arrived on campus in 1996, the University was a real untransformed Afrikaner university which did not cater for the influx of new Black students registering.
WHY DID YOU RUN FOR SRC PRESIDENT?
It was the only statutory student body with a seat in the Technikon Council and student voices could be taken more serious.
WHAT WERE YOUR GOALS AS SRC PRESIDENT?
Transformation and transformation only
WHAT WERE THE CHALLENGES?
To bring together the multi-races on campus under a Black SRC President.
WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNT?
To be humble as a leader.
WHAT DID YOU ACHIEVE FOR STUDENTS DURING YOUR TERM OF OFFICE?
To get more Black students into the Financial Scheme that the government made available to the institution and more Black students got space at the Residences.
WHAT LEGACY DID YOU LEAVE BEHIND AS SRC PRESIDENT OR WOULD YOU HAVE LIKE TO HAVE LEFT?
A prosperous and multi-racial university where student issues take centre stage and the institution become a world class research institution.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO FELLOW ALUMNI?
To get involved in the affairs of the University as your alma mater.
WHAT’S THE BIGGEST RISK YOU’VE EVER TAKEN?
I left a R 1 million job to concentrate on building my own business.
WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOU ARE NOT WORKING?
I play golf and am involved in Islamic Charity work. During winter my friends and I usually go to the Kalahari to hunt game to make biltong and wors.
WHAT IS YOUR PHILOSOPHY IN LIFE?
Honesty and hard work.
Aslam Mxolisi Tawana
Age: 41 years old
Place of birth: Galeshewe, Kimberley
Qualifications: B Tech in Agriculture: Animal Production
Place of birth: Newcastle, KwaZulu-Natal
Qualifications: B Tech: Medical Orthotics and Prosthetics, TUT, 2007
MSc: Rehabilitation Studies Prosthetics, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland, 2015
YOUR CURRENT POSITION AND WHAT THE ROLE ENTAILS?
I am currently a Lecturer, teaching; Prosthetics I, and II, Orthotics and Prosthetics Practical IV. I am the Co-ordinator of the MOP programme and my responsibilities are:
Taking care of student related issues, including the well-being of our students and providing advice when they have learning problems.
Cooperating with industry as our experiential training students are placed in practices for clinical exposure. We also have Advisory Committee meetings once a year with all the stakeholders including, the Department of Health (DOH), the associations (ISPO, SAOPA and MOPASA) and the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA).
I am co-opted onto the HPCSA Board within the Occupational Therapy, Medical Orthotics and Prosthetists and Arts Therapy Boards (OCP) in 2012. I was appointed by the Minister of Health in 2015 as a permanent member of the OCP Board, where I represent the MOP profession. Our main role is to guide the profession and protect the public.
An orthosis is a device that assists the body where its function has been lost or partly lost.
When we talk about a prosthesis, it is a manufactured devise to replace a limb; an arm or a leg which was either lost by a disease or trauma.
THIS IS A RARE FIELD OF STUDY. WHO/WHAT MOTIVATED YOU TO GO FOR THIS COURSE?
I initially wanted to become a teacher but my father was against the idea. However, my brother, then 19 years old lost his arm when I was in Grade 9 and this was a huge adjustment for our family.
I always had the idea as a young person that the world could be a better, happier place and I think together with the grief of dealing with his amputation I ended up in MOP.
IN YOUR OPINION, WHAT ARE THE QUALITIES OF A MEDICAL ORTHOTICS AND PROSTHETICS PRACTITIONER?
a) Passion: without passion you may be successful but you will not be fulfilled.
b) Endurance: our patients are sometimes badly hurt and we need to have the courage and determination to keep on trying until we succeed.
c) Patience: we work with people with disabilities and therefore there are no ‘quick fixes’. A device does not necessarily improve the psychological well-being of a patient and therefore the rehabilitation process is more than just fitting devices. We need to be patient and treat our clients holistically.
HOW DOES IT FEEL BEING THE FIRST WOMAN IN SOUTH AFRICA TO OBTAIN A MASTER’S DEGREE IN THIS FIELD?
It is a big honour to have accomplished this. I have an understanding partner and my family gave me the space to study. The support from the Dean, the current and previous HODs made this study possible. I further could not have done this without the support from my colleagues, and my sponsor Mrs Ackerman (from Pick n Pay fame) who played a huge role in the obtaining my Master’s degree.
WHAT’S THE BIGGEST RISK YOU’VE EVER TAKEN?
I had to start my life over in Pretoria with my two kids, then 3 and 6 year old, after a divorce in 2006. That was my biggest risk and best move I have ever made in my life.
WHAT IS YOUR FONDEST MEMORY OF YOUR DAYS AS A STUDENT?
While I was a student in the nineties, the freedom of choices and adaption to different social circumstances was an eye opener. While doing my Master’s, the best memories was the fact that I went all alone to a country that was foreign to me and I managed to overcome the fears and the challenges of doing things on my own.
WHICH OF THE SKILLS YOU LEARNT AT TUT ARE YOU CURRENTLY USING IN YOUR DAILY JOB?
You learn how to stand on your own feet and making your own decisions. There are no excuses and you have to take responsibility for your actions. I have also learnt that people make mistakes and that we are all human, therefore we have to listen much more than we speak.
WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN FIVE YEARS’ TIME?
I would like our programme to be on a higher level. This will include that we will have a clinic linked to the University with disabled patients being helped on a daily basis.
WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOU ARE NOT WORKING?
I spend most of the time with my family. We are crazy about sport and we believe in staying fit and healthy as part of a balanced life. I would love to play golf again if there is time but unfortunately it has become a very expensive sport.
Mariette obtaining her Master of Science in Rehabilitation studies: Prosthetics in Scotland.
Interview with Mariette Schmidt
First woman is South Africa to obtain a Master’s degree in Orthotics and Prosthetics
Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Prof Lourens van Staden, has again put his money where his mouth is after extending his donor contract towards the TUT Bursary and Scholarship Fund.
The TUT Bursary and Scholarship Fund, which was launched towards the end of November 2014, is steadily growing and to date has attracted more than 60 donors across the university ranging from Council and Executive Management members, to staff.
The primary goal of the fund is to assist in alleviating the annual shortfall in financial aid for students. The bursaries will at all times be allocated according to the policies, rules and regulations of the Directorate of Financial Aid, using the NSFAS grading system.
VC says he believes that with the full commitment from donors, the fund can grow tremendously
“We are extremely grateful for the VC’s commitment, which we believe will go a long way in advancing the growth of our fund,” Mari Booysen, Director of APO, said.
For more information about the TUT Bursary and Scholarship Fund or to sign up for your pledge, please contact Danie Ferns 012 382 5366 or Pearl Seakamela 012 982 5825 at the Advancement and Partnerships Office.
Mari Booysen, Director of the APO, and Prof Lourens van Staden, Vice-Chancellor and Principal, all smiles after the VC signed his new commitment.
VC CONTINUES TO SUPPORT