By Nontobeko Moimane 10 June 2022

Professor Maggi Linington addressing the audience during the Teaching and Learning Indaba

On 30th-31st May 2022, the Vaal University of Technology’s (VUT) Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Teaching, Learning and Student Support Services (DVC- TL& SSS) held a Teaching, and Learning Indaba themed “creating a sustainable portfolio” at the Quest Conference Centre in Vanderbijlpark.

The purpose of the Indaba was to discuss, analyse, as well as find solutions and a way forward in the following areas of the teaching and learning portfolio:

  • Enrolment and Programme Qualification Mix (PQM) applications
  • Throughput rates
  • Progression rules
  • Recruitment
  • Short Learning Programme’s (SLP)
  • Funding

The event was facilitated by Ms Kediemetse Mokotsi (Acting Executive Director for Advancement and Internationalisation).

In her opening remarks she said the indaba came at an opportune time when the institution is undergoing the Council on Higher Education audit which requires the institution to reflect on its processes, student-centeredness, quality of its programmes and accompanying service.  All of the above have a direct impact on the long-term sustainability of the institution.

“We tend to look externally for solutions to our challenges, while the answers we are looking for are within us. Solutions are possible if we work as a team, be open-minded. Most importantly, we should be committed and accountable towards our respective areas/portfolios,” said Ms Mokotsi.

Professor Maggi Linington, the DVC: TL & SS S, welcomed the guests and mentioned that the academic sector is the driver of the university’s sustainability. She said one of the objectives of the Indaba was improving the academic sector and identifying financial opportunities for the institution.

“If the university fails, we, the T, L&SSS portfolio, need to look at ourselves. We need to make sure that the university is sustainable. We need to start fixing now as we are currently not in the wrong place, but there are opportunities for improvement;” she encouraged.

Setting the tone for the engagements, Prof Linington   emphasised that the business of her portfolio is teaching. “We need to fix the bottlenecks affecting our student workloads, pass and throughput rates.  We need to come up with clear decisions and analysis. We need to know what we desire and what should be done to make our university sustainable,” she said

The Institutional Planning Unit presented progress with the Workload Model and the Integrated Planning Model.  Other departments within the DVC: TL & SSS portfolio also gave presentations. These include:

  • Centre for Academic Development
  • Student Support Services
  • The four Faculties:
    • Applied and Computer Sciences
    • Engineering and Technology
    • Management Sciences
    • Human Sciences

During her closing remarks, the DVC thanked participants and invited recommendations to improve the system and operations of the Teaching and Learning portfolio. She proposed that the Indaba be held annually with different themes.

The event ended with a question-and-answer session as well as recommendations to close off all loopholes in the value chain of teaching, learning and student support services.