TUT ALUMNI NEWSLETTER
Vol2 No2 | 2017
Next Level up for grabs, says young author
The New Higher Education Qualification Sub-Framework (HEQSF)
Dr Christian sings his way from the kitchen to Opera
Meet your Convocation
Bursary and Scholarship Fund reaches the R14 million mark
Image credit: Siyabulela Duda
Published by the Advancement & Partnerships Office
Pretoria Campus, Building 21: 221
Staatsartillerie Road, Pretoria West
Private Bag X680, Pretoria, 0001
Tel: +27 (0)12 382 2804
Can you believe we are already at the halfway mark of 2017! What an eventful year it has been for University and the country in general. TUT remains hopeful that you are still grounded in your careers, with a head-start owing to the internationally recognised qualifications you acquired with us. As you take a moment to reflect on the semester that has been juxtaposed against your new year’s resolutions, spare a moment to catch-up with what has been happening at your Alma Mater in this second edition for 2017.
Alumni on the move...
As a norm, we follow all our Alumni in their various careers. Our Beat had a chat with Oupa Segalwe (B Tech: Journalism), who is navigating the communication crest in the Public Protector’s office. We spoke to Thapelo Lekala (B Tech: Operational Management), a young author who has recently published his second motivational book titled The Next Level. We also tracked our international Alumni, Christian Bester (B Tech: Vocal Arts) – a USA based soloist with symphony orchestra whose currently working with the University of Wisconsin (Oshkosh).
At TUT lately...
Catch-up on the latest events at the University, including topical student life matters relating to financial support and student accommodation in the VC’s column. You may also be interested to learn of the future of B Tech qualifications owing to the new Higher Education Qualifications Framework.
#tutalumni – Instagram Account
In an effort to enhance our social media presence, we have created an Instagram account as another platform to keep you engaged. We invite you to share your moments of nostalgia through photos. As mentioned in the newsletter, we also invite you to join our #ThrowBackCampaign by posting your old campus pictures in the account and tag your fellow Alumni.
Enjoy the read! Please share ideas on possible stories and suggestions to keep you engaged.
Mosimanegape David Sedumedi
Alumni Relations Team
YOUR VIEW MATTERS
All you have to do is answer the following question (don’t fret, you should get the answer somewhere in this edition): What is the title of the book written by Kabelo Lekala?
Please send your answer, name and contact number to firstname.lastname@example.org before or on 31 July 2017. Please mark the subject field: COMPETITION.
The winner for last edition’s competition is Gail van Tonder. Only registered TUT alumni can enter. Good luck!
Win yourself this awesome car boot organiser
Editor: Kefentse Molotsane
Contributors: Willa de Ruyter, Gerrit Bester, Sibongile Vukela.
This publication may contain third party advertisements and links to third party sites. The Tshwane University of Technology does not make any representation as to the accuracy or suitability of any of the information contained in these advertisements or sites and does not accept any responsibility or liability for the conduct or content of those advertisements and sites and the offerings made by the third parties.
Reflection on the first semester of 2017
The first semester of 2017 has certainly been one of great highlights as well as of dealing with the usual challenges facing a university.
Update from the VC
The University is very proud that it could confer a record number of 10 148 qualifications on successful students during the 2017 Autumn Graduation Ceremonies. A total of 9 569 qualifications were conferred on successful students at the Tshwane based campuses. This number includes a total of 30 D Tech degrees, 153 M Tech degrees, 2 999 B Tech degrees 5 511 National Diplomas and 387 certificates.
At the University’s distant campuses in Mbombela, eMalahleni and Polokwane a combined total of 1 545 qualifications were conferred.
Congratulations to all our new Alumni who have just qualified!
TUT 101 contributes to increase in success rate
At the start of 2016 TUT 101, a new, institution-wide orientation programme for first-time entering students to support their successful transition from high school to university was introduced. The programme forms part of a strategy which aims at improving the social and academic integration of first-years.
TUT 101 is aimed at ensuring that students experience core-curriculum, extra-curriculum and co-curriculum in a holistic way. This will allow students to learn academic behaviours, including language competence, confidence, tolerance and acceptable social practices. Previously, orientation was not coordinated at institutional level and was left to the discretion of faculties. This led to different standards, practices and experiences by first-year students.
Since its introduction, TUT 101 together with the efforts of all staff members have contributed significantly to an increase in the student success rate by 1.67% - from 75.23% to 77.9%
Financial support for students
The TUT Bursary and Scholarship Fund is on a steady growth path and reached the R14 million mark following an R11.4 million injection by ABSA over the next three years into the fund. In 2016, ABSA also pledged R6.6 million towards the Fund to assist in alleviating the dire need for student funding at the University. Their latest donation makes ABSA the single biggest supporter of the Fund.
Evans Phehla, a first-year Computer Systems Engineering student and brother of Benjamin Phehla, became in May the first recipient to benefit from a bursary established in honour of the late student activist. Benjamin died last year after being knocked down by a car during a #FeesMustFall protest at the Soshanguve Campus.
Extended library hours and student safety
A Pilot project for Extended Library hours at all our campuses has been rolled out from 6 June until 2 July 2017, to assist and support students in preparing for the mid-year exams.
During the extended hours, between 22:00 and 08:00 the next day, limited services, including access to study areas, free access to WiFi, as well as checking-out, checking-in and renewal of loans of information resources will be available to students.
Addressing the need for student accommodation
The dire need for student accommodation country-wide, has also been playing out on our home soil. Student accommodation that complies with the required minimum standards set by DHET is one of TUT’s top priorities and the University is working tirelessly to find additional suitable accommodation for our students.
At present, the University is able to provide accommodation to 21% of our students, which is about 2% above the national average.
Earlier this year, the University Council approved a Policy on the Accreditation of Private Student Accommodation to ensure that we obtain extra, suitable accommodation for our students. This is in addition to TUT’s long-term resource planning, which provides for the building of new residences, mostly with the assistance of Government funding and leasing of space, as well as public-private partnerships, to constantly increase accommodation capacity.
In April 2017 the first phase of the accreditation got underway when the first batch of private service providers for the Pretoria and eMalahleni Campuses was approved by the Executive Management Committee (EMC), which made an additional 1 578 spaces available.
Insourcing of outsourced services
As a University, we are sympathetic to the plight of workers and in February 2016 we signed an agreement that would bring about the insourcing of workers at outsourced services, based on affordability and sustainability, and subject to approval by Council.
The University set up a Task Team to work on the details around insourcing and ensure that the process proceeds smoothly. On 24 June 2016, Council approved the insourcing proposal, but also resolved that that security services would not be insourced based on financial considerations. Since the Council decision, cleaning and landscaping staff have already been insourced. TUT remains open to discussions and the Insourcing Task Team will continue with its role to facilitate this process.
Regrettably a group of security guards employed by SMADA, embarked on an unprotected strike in May 2017, due to their demand to be insourced by the University. Since the strike started, the Insourcing Task Team, chaired by an independent external person, has met on three occasions with the aim of finding a way forward. However, on 12 June 2017 the Insourcing Task Team meeting once again broke down, due to a number of issues. The University will continue be available to meet and to positively engage in these meetings with a view to finding possible solutions.
All the best until we talk again.
Prof Lourens van Staden
VICE-CHANCELLOR AND PRINCIPAL
with Oupa Segalwe, former TUT alumnus
PLACE OF BIRTH: Zeerust, North West
CURRENT OCCUPATION: National Diploma: Journalism; B-Tech Degree: Journalism
Image credit: Bongiwe Mchunu
The TUT Bursary and Scholarship Fund has achieved another milestone in its quest to grow to R50 million over the next two years, following an R11,4 million injection by ABSA over the next three years into the fund.
In 2016, ABSA also pledged R6.6 million towards the Fund to assist in alleviating the dire need for student funding at the University. Their latest donation makes ABSA the single biggest supporter of the Fund, which has now reached the R14 million mark.
It is expected that money from the Fund will be allocated to the first group of academically deserving, financially needy beneficiaries later this year.
In her word of thanks, one of the Patrons of the Fund, TUT Chancellor and MEC of Health in Gauteng, Dr Gwen Ramokgopa, who set the challenge of reaching the R50 million mark before end of 2019, lauded ABSA for their staunch support of the Fund.
Prof Lourens van Staden, Vice-Chancellor and Principal, said TUT has accepted the Chancellor’s challenge, because as a people’s university, TUT is an institution that provides opportunities for all students who are academically deserving – regardless of their financial situation. He added that the majority of students at TUT, about 90 per cent of the 60 000 students, are dependent on financial assistance to help them make their dreams of tertiary study a reality.
Prof van Staden emphasised the importance of financial support by business and industry. “We cannot rely on funding provided by Government only for financial support. The TUT Bursary and Scholarship Fund offers an opportunity to assist an even greater number of students to obtain qualifications and embark on a journey to improve their own lives as well as those of their families and members of the communities they hail from. We would not be able to do this without the generous support of partners.”
Dr Ramokgopa added that “ABSA is inspiring us to remain committed to our undertaking to see this Fund becoming a significant vehicle to assist our students now and for years to come. Your contributions are in line with the national cry for additional financial support for needy students across all sectors of our higher education landscape. I can assure you that your contributions will make a tangible difference in the lives of our students.”
Other dignitaries present included ABSA’s Vice-Chairperson, Mr Theunie Lategan; Ms Sazini Mojapelo, ABSA’s Head Citizenship Africa; and Mr Stephen Seaka, ABSA’s Head Public Sector Africa.
Ms Mojapelo said that in the last couple of years ABSA had relooked its Corporate Social Investment (CSI) strategy and that the CEO Scholarship Fund is a result of how the bank decided to contribute more meaningfully to the communities in which it operates, particularly in the field of education.” The bank is now the largest contributor to scholarship programmes at South African universities.
ABSA recently announced an almost three-fold increase in the Barclays Africa Group’s 2017 CEO Scholarship Fund to R210 million. This will result in 3 000 university students across its ten African markets receiving a scholarship for the current academic year. In 2016, this Fund disbursed R80 million in scholarships to 2 000 students at universities across South Africa.
The 2017 allocation is in partnership with 21 universities in SA and several others in nine markets on the rest of the continent.
Bursary and Scholarship Fund reacheS
Dr Christian sings his way
from the kitchen to Opera
A man of many talents, Dr Christian Bester, a former TUT graduate is currently making a name for himself in the United States as an Opera singer, vocal coach and a Lecturer.
Dr Bester is a sought-after soloist with symphony orchestras, and he serves as a visiting Assistant Professor of Voice at the University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh.
Christian completed his B Tech in Vocal Arts in 2006 and has since been climbing the academic ladder. After finishing his B Tech in Vocal Art, Christian studied Vocal Performance at the Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. Upon completion of his Master’s in Vocal Performance, he went on to complete his Doctorate in Vocal Performance and Opera at the University of North Texas.
He boasts a long and impressive list of roles, concerts, recitals and awards and is a lecturer in music at the Lawrence University, as well as visiting Assistant Professor of Voice at the University of Wisconsin in the USA.
Christian, says he had no idea what to study after completing his matric.
“I looked at the prospectus and I could not figure out what to do; I then decided that I would take a gap year and go to England. I did odd jobs including working on a chicken farm.”
“I came back home to South Africa, and started chef school in Centurion and after completing my studies I did a little bit of work in Cape Town. I then moved to Ireland and Wales to go work in a hotel where I met my first voice teacher Mr. Damon who heard me singing and convinced me to pursue this career in singing,” he says.
“I then moved back to South Africa and registered at TUT to start a career in Vocal Art” Christian added.
Christian says he chose to study at TUT because of the institution’s reputation and his working relationship with former lecturer Elizabeth Lombard.
Over the years, Christian has mastered the art of being persistent. He says a career in Opera starts with the individual believing in themselves and of course a passion for what they had set to achieve.
Although he didn’t set out to end up with a doctorate, he says his passion for teaching and singing has yielded all this.
“I’m still going to continue teaching at the University, maybe move up the ranks there, continue with master classes and of course balance life and work”, he added.
As a recitalist, Christian frequently performs throughout the United States, Australia, Wales and South Africa. He recently presented at the Sixth Asian Conference on Arts and Humanities in Japan, as well as at the Texoma Regional Conference in Kingwood.
Frequently asked questions
From the Registrar's office
PLACE OF BIRTH: Limpopo, Ga Mamabolo
QUALIFICATION: B-Tech Public Management
Meet the convocation
Next Level up for grabs, says young author
“How do you move from where you are to where you want to be?” This is the critical question Thapelo Lekala, affectionately known as Sir Lekala, addresses in his second motivational book, The Next Level, launched recently.
The 26-year old B Tech: Operational Management student and Maintenance Coordinator, at Accommodation, Residence Life and Catering (ARLC), Ga-Rankuwa Campus, launched his first book titled, Success Is a Choice, in 2014. This year, he is back with a second book, titled The Next Level. Apart from being an accomplished author, he is also a motivational speaker and an entrepreneur who owns a publishing company.
According to Sir Lekala, the book is aimed at helping people who are stagnant and who have not learnt how to move up in life. “Such people often lose hope. In this book, I share carefully designed, tried and tested principles that will help them get into action and move to the next level,” he said.
The young author said 5000 copies of his first book were sold, but he plans to double that number with the second one. He shared his journey in getting the first book published, saying he had no sponsor and had to use his income from part time jobs for this self-funded project. With the money that he raised, he managed to open a publishing company to publish his own, and now, even the books of other authors.
Sir Lekala dedicates his spare time to things that uplift him and others. He is a human capital development practitioner and is involved in multiple organisations. Amongst others, he is the Chairman of the Thapelo Lekala Leadership Foundation and he is a Director at True Greatness seminars, a human capital development company.
“Storytelling is something that comes to me naturally. When I first enrolled for my undergraduate qualification, I was only focused on motivational speaking, but later realised that I could reach more people through writing - so I decided to write my first book,” Sir Lekala says.
He advises upcoming writers to keep company with other writers, and he added that they should not give up. “Writers know that when the tough gets going, the going should not get tough immediately because one needs to remain in the moment and embrace it. If you do not give up, then you will have a story to tell tomorrow. Remember; never let a single day go to waste!”
The Next Level book is available for R139.99 at participating Protea Bookstores, and it can also be ordered by email at email@example.com.
Kabelo Lekala, the author of the Next Level book.
The new Higher Education Qualifications Sub-Framework (HEQSF)
Changes brought about by
the HEQSF include:
How is the HEQSF (new structure) different from the NATED 151 (current)
How will students with
Baccalaureus Technologiae qualifications articulate vertically to the Master’s degree?
Depending on the admission requirements of the specific faculty and department, students with a Baccalaureus Technologiae may be required to do additional modules in order to comply with the admission requirements of the HEQSF-aligned master’s degree. Please consult the relevant faculty prospectus for admission requirements.
How does the HEQSF affect you
as a current TUT student?
All current qualifications will phase out in one of the following ways:
It is not necessary for students who have completed and graduated in the non-aligned qualifications to apply for replacement or conversion of their qualifications as the non-aligned qualifications remains valid.
Pipeline students should complete and graduate in their current qualifications they are registered for.
Minimum admission requirements for HEQSF-aligned qualifications
Progression through the HEQSF
Below is an example of new Vocational progression pathway from a Diploma up to the Doctoral level. The majority of TUT students are in the Diploma qualifications.
Students in the vocational/diploma stream will be required to complete:
(NQF Level 6)
(NQF Level 7)
Post Graduate Diploma
(NQF Level 8)
(NQF Level 9)
(NQF Level 10)
When will TUT introduce new
The implementation of new HEQSF-aligned qualifications will commence in 2017 with some of the diplomas, B Ed Honours, bachelor degrees, master’s and doctoral qualifications.
Such qualifications are included in the 2017 Faculty Prospectuses for Engineering and the Built Environment, Humanities, Information and Communication Technology, Management Sciences and Science.
All the other new HEQSF-aligned qualifications will be phased-in annually as from 2018.
When will the current Nated qualifications be phased out?
The Minister of Higher Education and Training has pronounced the phase-out date for all non-aligned qualifications as 31 December 2019. This means that current qualifications which are not HEQSF aligned will be phased out completely in line with the date pronounced by the Minister. The last date of registering new students in the non-aligned qualifications will be January 2019 for year courses and July 2019 for semester courses. Students still registered in the current qualifications by 31 December 2019 will be given a certain time period to complete their qualifications which will be guided by institutional policies and guidelines.
Will the current Nated
qualification still be valid?
In terms of the transitional arrangements, TUT would like to emphasise that all NATED qualifications are accredited and registered on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) and they remain valid and recognised by the Tshwane University of Technology, Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET), Council on Higher Education (CHE), South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA), professional bodies, industry, employers and other relevant stakeholders.
TUT is striving to implement the HEQSF as effectively and efficiently as possible. You will be kept informed of all the changes and developments with regard to the implementation of HEQSF-aligned qualifications.
For any enquiries, please contact the relevant academic department or contact your Faculty prospectus.