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Presentation on theme: "5 AUGUST 2009 AFRICAN DEVELOPMENTAL UNIVERSITY BREAK-AWAY 1."— Presentation transcript:


2 Walter Sisulu University will be a leading African comprehensive university focusing on innovative educational, research and community partnership programmes that are responsive to local, regional, national development priorities, and cognisant of continental and international imperatives. WSU Strategic Plan (2008- 2017), page 12. WSU VISION 2

3 WSU MISSION STATEMENT: In pursuit of its vision as a developmental university, WSU will: 1.Provide an educationally vibrant and enabling environment that is conducive to the advancement of quality academic, moral, cultural and technological learner-centred education for holistic intellectual empowerment, growth and effective use of information. 2.Etc (see page 12, para 3.2 of WSU Strategic Plan). MISSION 3

4 Implications of being a developmental university in our poor & rural context Ought to be at the cutting edge i.t.o. what needs to be done to advance human development Should seek and apply relevant best practice (in the African context as well as developing world) Innovativeness as one of the key differentiators Adopt Nkomo & Sehoole (2007) as our guide. E.g. Must address socio-economic development and other constructs, within our poverty context Deliberately seek to develop students Improve quality of life and alleviate poverty 4

5 SOME INDICATORS OF A N “A.D.U.”: Impacts where you draw your examples, in class, etc.; Ought to be in a context that is familiar to students Impacts teaching method, including the use of group work as an approach and use of local examples. Resonates with inter-group and intra-group approaches. Implies a sensitive approach to consultation. Favours the use of appropriate brain-storming methods. -Implications of being a Developmental University (“African Developmental University”) 5

6 -More A.D.U. indicators- Leverages the knowledge and experience that one gets from the African continent [e.g. Ki-Zerbo, 1990: 42, in Mbabane’s (2008) essay]. Produces knowledge relevant for African context Emphasis on African history and identity Not exclusive (not to alienate Western ideas, but to complement and build on) Practices ubuntu 6

7 -AFRICAN DEVELOPMENTAL UNIVERSITY- indicators Reliance on humaneness/ ubuntu and bring it into teaching and engagement (approach to teaching methodology and delivery should appreciate students’ culture, etc). Indigenous knowledge systems, proposed as the focus of research. Above influence its epistemology 7

8 Service- and product- differentiation for an ADU Appreciation of culture of most of our students, e.g. non-questioning of authority/ adults and awareness of these dynamics; Obligation to prompt students and encourage participation (inculcate a questioning culture, within the “hlonipha” custom). Encourage students to challenge seniors respectfully. Distinguish cultural/ religious matters and rights from professional and business culture and expectations (Compatibilization!) 8

9 - How an ADU does business- Ought to be empathetic and sympathetic Demonstrate equal concern for quality; the plight of learners as well as standards (no trade-off among above considerations). Sensitivity in approaches such as handing out results/ mark-scripts (Students shy of “ukuphoxeka” in public and the shame. ADU also has implications for our leadership and management paradigm 9

10 What research does a developmental university conduct (as opposed to a classic university)? Indigenous knowledge systems as niche area/ main theme Responsiveness to needs of the community (But does not only research its community!!) Uses interdisciplinary research as leverage Promotes interest in the history of the institution, i.t.o. assignments, cases, etc. RESEARCH IN AN ADU CONTEXT 10

11 - Research Implications- Increase research output, but within our principles and values (within our ADU paradigm) Focus more on relevant case studies (quantitatively and qualitatively) (can look at other approaches at Post Grad level). Identify issues in the community (students); research relevant topics locally and globally Responsive to needs of the community and the institution, as well as the developing world, globally. 11

12 Learning & Teaching in an ADU –Embraces and practices the PBL approach; –Use of relevant and applicable teaching strategies that are outcomes-based –Produce competent and independent graduates that can create job opportunities. –Not shy to acknowledge the disadvantage of students, the poverty background of some of them, and yet seek to turn them into top class –May be last choice university, but should produce first choice graduates 12

13 How does a developmental university engage with its community (in a different and unique way)? Aim is to improve the quality of life of the community Seeks continuous improvement in community Conduct s all types of research biased toward the community, in collaboration with the community Improves technology where it exists in community Provide participatory research Intervention research Is collaborative in its approach, as a principle. COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT 13

14 -Community engagement- No “big brother” approach towards community; partners, mutual learning. Also engage students at under-graduate level (instill a research culture) 14

15 -community engagement Use project-based learning (students to go to community). Offer job opportunities as an institution Offer experiential learning base Incorporate HIV/ AIDS awareness programmes in curriculum Emphasize empowerment in rural and agricultural development Entrepreneurial awareness programmes 15

16 -C.E. assessment cont. Mutual benefit (get feedback and also benefit as a University: mutual understanding) Appreciation of our interventions by the community “Don’t ask us, ask the communities around us”. (Our students; our government; etc.). 16

17 Whatever we do, we seek to be the best in terms of our African continent (as well as globally). –Benchmark with other African Universities, for best practice (and globally) –Use indigenous languages wherever possible –Use practical examples, relevant to the community EXCELLENCE IN AN A.D.U. 17

18 -excellence- Concern about the quality of our students: –Work closely with FET colleges and high schools (to improve standards) Inspiration from Prof. Mohammed Yunus’ case study (Grameen Bank; Bangladesh). 18

19 TO BE WISE: -To be able to solve problems -To promote critical thinking; innovativeness; life-orientation skills -To address the developmental needs in terms of WSU context. WISDOM FOR AN A.D.U. 19

20 -Assessment of wisdom To be able to identify the problems (needs/ shortages) and give them awareness Ability to work together in solving the problems of the community to improve the quality of their lives. Environmental and health improvement (in the community) Sustainable development (empowerment) 20

21 TECHNOLOGY: Better & appropriate ways of doing things (more advanced and efficient methods/ tools). “Technological” w.r.t. WSU 21

22 SCIENTIFIC: The art of doing things to achieve goals; Elements: feasibility; Validity Purposefulness verifiability SCIENTIFIC NATURE OF WSU 22

23 Scientific i.t.o L & T for ADU Must contextualize how we teach (historical background) Mix the medium of instruction (option of mother-tongue) Questions must be available bilingually Material to be simplified/ user-friendly (without compromising quality & standards) Explore better and responsive resources 23

24 “Improving on things and coming up with new and better ways”. Be current and up-to-date with examples, theories. Introduce bilingual question papers (English and Vernacular). To measure: examine our historical background and movement/ progress. Look at history of technology; engineering, etc. Write own textbook and up-to-date issues Relate theory to practice INNOVATIVENESS AT WSU 24

25 Must look at impact of our courses and programmes on the community (awareness, etc). Look at short courses according to needs RESPONSIVENESS 25

26 To what extent are we implementing these philosophical and strategic “differentiators” in our Units/ Schools/ Departments.? E.g. Health Sciences Faculty and their Clinical Associate Programme (a good case in point) & PBL. Some examples from Schools and Departments (service learning; adopt-a-school; infusion of HIV/AIDS education in curriculum; work-based learning; Centered for Rural Development; Centre for Community & International Partnerships; Enterprise Development Centre) Our progress/ current state 26

27 ENABLERS: -Existing centers and programmes/ structures -Support Centers and services (e.g. CLTD) -Leadership (vision and direction) RESTRAINERS: -Resistance to change -Poor Facilities -HR shortages -Financial resource constraints -Red tape ENABLERS & DISABLERS 27

28 -Bureaucracy -Heavy Workloads -High Staff turnover -Poor staff retention (and lack of strategies to retain). -Long working hours -High Staff: student ratio -Challenging background of our students and huge developmental gap for L & T - restrainers- 28


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