VUT ENGINEERING DAY: ENSURING STUDENT SUCCESS
By Qhawekazi Memani 24 May 2022
Students and representatives from various departments who attended the event
In recognizing the skills developmental needs of Engineering students, the Centre for Academic Development (CAD) at the Vaal University of Technology (VUT), hosted a successful Engineering Day on 9 May 2022 at the VUT Desmond Tutu Great Hall.
The event was coordinated in collaboration with the VUT Society of Chemical Engineering, BCESSO SAICE Student Chapter, The South African Institute of Mechanical Engineering (SAIMechE) and the VUT Ekhaya Alumni.
The purpose of the Engineering Day was explained by NtandoEntle Khumalo (CAD Mentor) and 3rd year Civil Engineering Student) and Faith Lembede (3rd year Chemical Engineering student) as: “an initiative to dispel miscommunication that would create confusion among engineering students across all levels”.
The event was attended by approximately 70 participants.
Aspiring Engineers including student structures, representatives from different departments all gathered in one accord to acquire guidance and advice from the different speakers who possess knowledge that will contribute immensely to the student journey, even way beyond VUT.
Dr Jerry Madzimure: First Year Experience Coordinator, welcomed the Vice -Chancellor on stage. Professor Dan Kgwadi, Vice-Chancellor and Principal thanked the organizers of the event and emphasized the importance of providing guidance to students throughout their university journey.
Professor Dan Kgwadi: Vice-Chancellor and Principal
Prof Kgwadi applauded the academic staff for making sure that the VUT’s core business stays intact. “VUT certificates are legit, and in a conversation, I had before coming to this institution, two first year students informed me that they came to VUT because they heard that VUT offers the best engineering courses. I am therefore very proud of VUT.’’
With so many plans for the University, Prof Kgwadi shared that he aims to position the University to be a truly African University that is diverse; recognized locally and internationally, and above all to be a student-centered institution recognizing that with no students, there is no VUT and putting in place the most important value which is the ethic of care that cuts across students and staff.
Mr Maanda Masendi, Student Representative Council (SRC) President, said that “I am proud to see female graduates joining hands in teaching the young generation. students choose wrong career paths, programs, and seminars like these will assist to overcome such challenges at VUT.
It is not often that you see or hear the president speaking in one accord with the VC, Mr Masendi mentioned that he is proud to have a VC like Prof Kwgadi and advised his fellow students to take advantage of his kindness to form structures that will link them with the industry so that we are ready for the world of work by the time we leave VUT. Furthermore, he encouraged them to get in touch with the SRC office to enquire about the support that is available for initiatives that are directed at a holistic development of students.
According to Mr Mothosi Samosamo, Learning and Development Coordinator: CAD, sessions such as these, seek to address the epistemological injustices of the education system. He advised students to exhaust all available support services offered by the University and informed the audience that as CAD they are planning to introduce research to be part of undergraduate programmes.
Guest Speaker: Mrs Sbongile Majozi
In her keynote address, Mrs Sbongile Majozi, who was invited as a guest speaker, explained that engineering is interlinked, multi- disciplinary and requires teamwork. She further gave insights into the various levels and sections that are available in the Engineering field have. “What you are studying right now is very critical and you will be expected to implement the knowledge should you get to the employment level. Competition is tough and rough. Brains are the most needed and emotional intelligence is key. Drawing from Prof Kgwadi’s address, she elaborated that it is very important to balance social life and not go to class, the library and res room only. “Train yourself, form support groups and engage with other students. It is not experienced alone that takes you up the corporate ladder.” She concluded. Mrs Majozi is a VUT the Chemical Engineering Alumnae with over 20 years’ experience.
Closing the event, Mr Comfort Madalane thanked everyone for gracing the event with their presence and acknowledged the leaders of different structures, faculties and departments who worked tirelessly to make sure that the event is a success.