Page 5 - DUT Conduit Dec21
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“Firstly, I would like to take the opportunity to greet and thank all my new colleagues in the Faculty of Arts and Design and at DUT. I have been warmly welcomed and supported, and am fortunate to be part of such a vibrant institution, with such a clear and compelling vision.
2021, like 2020, has been a year in which difficulties were faced, and challenges met. COVID-19 has not gone away. The third wave seemed never-ending and we are now entering a fourth wave. Yet, there are many aspects that we have been able to address in a more measured way as the surprise element of 2020, which tumbled us instantly into turmoil, has been mitigated to an extent. The vaccine roll-out is also poised to help communities deal with the impact of the fourth wave much more successfully. Human beings are so wonderfully adaptable that we have found ways to conduct our day to day business, and our work, around COVID-19, with concessions, planning, resilience, foresight, endurance, hope, and our eyes on the future. In the short time that I have been at the helm I was fortunate enough to be part of a vibrant DigiFest and Research Conference with an international footprint, and an Entrepreneurship Week which saw our students engage with successful graduates and role-models in the various disciplines. As educators we are tasked to ensure that each student’s qualification is meaningful and empowers them with skills to improve their lives and the prospects of their communities.
2021 also saw newly merged units and schools find each other and grow together into a single, vibrant Faculty, and in 2022 we look forward to much inter-departmental and inter-institutional collaboration. Watch this space! I want to thank the HoDs and all my Faculty colleagues for their hard work, dedication, vision, skill, and care – you make a positive difference in each student’s and each colleague’s work and life. May 2022 bring us further successes in facing challenges collectively. Take care, rest, and we will see each other in the New Year. “
“As the academic year 2021 draws to a close, I take this opportunity to do a few things. Firstly, I thank all the Faculty of Management Sciences (FMS) administrative staff members and the Faculty Office in particular who kept the ship on course under this perilous journey of COVID-19. This arm of FMS has
distinguished itself by taking charge and accounting for all registrations, graduations, and other student support services.
Secondly, I extend a hand of thanks to all our students, undergrads and postgraduate. Despite many challenges of access to learning devices, data and unconducive learning environments, many of you remained steadfast and attained your annual academic objectives. For those of you who performed below acceptable standards; I hope that whatever went wrong was merely a lesson and not a deterrent from your continued pursuit of the skills and qualification of your choice. I hope the lessons learned will help you to perform outstandingly in the upcoming year.
Thirdly, I want to thank our academic champions who have continued not only as great teachers but equally so, productive researchers. For the first time in 2020, FMS doubled its research outputs to 145,7 and I hope that when the 2021 outputs are tallied, we shall once again outperform the previous production rates. For the first time in 2021, a new peak was also reached with 111 Master and Doctoral graduates. Without downplaying the role played by many to get FMS where it is today, it suffices never the less to acknowledge the promotion to Associate Professorships of Professors Dumisani Zondo, Manduth Ramchander, Dumsile Hlengwa, Ivan Govender and Albert Agbenyegah.
The DUT Business School was launched in 2021 and its programmes which include the HC, PGDiP and MBA were implemented with success.”
“The COVID-19 pandemic continued to disrupt the 2021 Academic Year (2021AY). The Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT) continually provided leadership in preparing the University’s staff and students to engage in emergency multimodal learning, teaching and assessment by adopting a
multi-pronged approach. This included a focus on developing expertise in the use of digital technologies and engagement with curriculum planning and implementation through staff development. This was a collaborative effort led by CELT and supported by many other departments and colleagues within the University and nationally. At the same time, student development initiatives included training in the use of the digital platforms adopted by the University and online psycho- social support through student development programmes.
In 2020, the University observed the 2% increase in overall success rates from 85% to 87%, which requires deeper analysis for understanding given the disruptions to the academic year due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to data provision for staff and students at institutional level to enable remote teaching and learning, several faculties put in place other support measures including couriering printed notes to students, providing learning material on USB and setting up WhatsApp learning groups. The Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT) provided technical support to staff and students, as well as professional development in online teaching, learning and assessment pedagogies.
No one knows when face-to-face classes and ‘normal’ university academic activities will resume. In 2022, we look forward to a campus where we can safely teach, learn and conduct research together without the fear of contracting COVID-19. To ensure a healthy, happy holiday, don’t miss the opportunity to get vaccinated against COVID-19. As the safety and protection of the DUT community remains the priority of the university, in 2022, the university will continue to offer online teaching and learning. The University is exploring effective ways of ensuring that the first-time enrolled students are afforded the opportunity to adapt to university life through intense orientation programme and blended teaching and learning.
In order to ensure the integrity of the assessments, mask-to- mask year-end examinations will be conducted. We extend our best wishes to our students for the year-end examinations.
A fourth surge in infections is predicted to begin towards the beginning of December. To ensure a healthy, happy holiday, you are encouraged to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Last but not least, we wish you safe, restful holidays.”
       ProfESSOR GG Mchunu: Executive Dean: Faculty of Health Sciences
 “Firstly, I would like to thank the DUT community for welcomingly me warmly this year. It is such a privilege to be part of this vibrant and highly rated institution. The year 2021 has been very challenging for all and we thought we were better prepared to deal with the ‘new normal’, the COVID-19 era.
However, this virus has surpassed many predictions and created evolving global public health crisis. The pandemic has led to unprecedented disruptions to clinical training, and we are confronted by the most devastating infectious epidemic, as each day has its challenges. Such challenges make the resilience and never say die attitude of our staff and students much more inspirational. Not only did we adhere to the COVID-19 regulations but we went on and reclaimed our lives as displayed by the initiatives that the faculty has undertaken during this very trying period.
Despite the limitations imposed by the pandemic, the faculty continues to appreciate its mandate and responsibility as a caring partner to all its stakeholders. While many will remember the COVID-19 pandemic as a source of disruption, we believe that it should be viewed as a catalyst to transformation of health professionals’ education, with emerging interventions to address public health issues. Our
clinics and community partnerships, which are poised to support ENVISION2030 as they form the core of our community engagement projects, have continued to operate even under such circumstances, which we appreciate.
It is for this reason that we are confident of another successful 2022 academic year and beyond. We wish our staff, students and stakeholders a merry festive season and an exceptionally healthy new year. May you all come back fully recharged and ready to take on any challenges in 2022.”

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