Seventh Annual South African Technology Network Conference 2014 (Muntuwenkosi Chilli)

Universities of Technology: Enhancing Teaching, Learning and Assessment Initiatives in Universities of Technology: Looking Back and Going Forward.

Hosted by: Mangosuthu University of Technology, Fairmont Zimbali Lodge and Resort, KwaZulu-Natal
14-16 October 2014

The South African Technology Network (SATN) was established by five Universities of Technology in 2006 (Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Central University of Technology, Durban University of Technology, Tshwane University of Technology and the Vaal University of Technology). Subsequently, Mangosuthu University of Technology and the Polytechnic of Namibia joined the organisation in 2009 and 2010, respectively.

The purpose of the SATN October 2014 conference was to provide a platform for discussion on matters pertaining to higher education, and the synthesis of perspectives and guidelines in response to post-school education and related policy and legislative processes. The conference intended to facilitate engagement on issues that were of particular interest to Universities of Technology. The conference was opened by the Minister of Higher Education and Training, Dr Blade Nzimande, who highlighted the need for improved access and success in Higher Education across the country. He also urged Universities of Technology to partner with Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Colleges to ensure that their programmes were streamlined.

Conference papers and discussions focused on the following: systemic and institutional policy issues enabling or constraining teaching and learning activities; enhancing the teaching and learning environment; institutional enablers for enhancing the academic qualifications of academics; teaching at post-graduate levels of education; enhancing student support and development services to improve teaching and learning outputs; enhancing curricula renewal activities and graduate employability; sharing good practices philosophies that inform teaching and learning initiatives.

Among the many issues discussed, the conference identified student placement for work integrated learning as the most important. Participants also explored how SATN could gather industry input in order to make teaching programmes more relevant. Delegates agreed to establish a committee to engage business in relation to on-the-job training for students.

Dr MM Chili is a Deputy Director in the Teaching and Learning Development Centre, Mangosuthu University of Technology.

 

Conferences papers and presentations are available at: www.satn.co.za

 

For further information contact Dr Muntuwenkosi Chili at chilimm@mut.ac.za