PODCAST | STATE EDU: 2022 reflections from TUT Vice-Chancellor, Professor Tinyiko Maluleke – SABC News

Edu State is a feature of SABC Digital News which focuses on the state of education in South Africa. In this episode, TUT Vice-Chancellor Professor Tinyiko Maluleke looks back on the year 2022.

Tshwane University of Technology is among the top 15 science, technology and engineering universities in South Africa. This is according to the latest Times Higher Education ranking. The World Ranking provides a list of top performing universities around the world with a focus on research. The evaluation of universities takes into account factors such as teaching, research, citations, industry income and global outlook.

Professor Maluleke says that although the institution has been a reluctant entrant in the rankings, he is pleased with the performance.

“In academia, the gold standard is peer review, so these rankings are based on peer reviews. In other words, people who really understand the craft you’re in, who therefore deploy their knowledge of your industry to compare you with institutions similar to you, in your country but especially in the world. In this sense, the rankings are important and what they say becomes important. Of course, these international rankings do not are not the be-all and end-all of what universities exist for. We exist as universities for more mundane reasons of producing skills, of producing an educated population. But we cannot ignore rankings in the as they are the opinions of our peers about what they think of the quality of our research, the quality of our teaching and learning, and the quality of our teaching of particular subjects. useful.

Skills the SA economy needs

South Africa has a history of structural unemployment, a mismatch between the skills the economy needs and those possessed by the workforce. The unemployment rate currently stands at 33.9% with a youth unemployment rate of 46.5%.

According to Professor Maluleke, TUT is giving its students the tools they need to bridge the skills gap in the job market.

“I think you have to understand that in terms of Times Higher Education, there are 15 top universities in this country that produce the kind of skills that the economy needs, which is engineering skills. , physical sciences, ICT and related fields.. TUT is one of these 15 and TUT is the only university of technology among these 15. What does this mean? of correctly by matching what the economy and the skills required by the labor market We already produce in the relevant fields and we call ourselves a university that makes knowledge work and by that we mean that we are deliberate in the production of graduates who are ready for the future of work.

Impact of the coronavirus on learning and teaching

The emergence of the coronavirus pandemic has led to disruptions in teaching and learning, with universities having to halt classes by contact. The pandemic has so far claimed more than 100,000 lives in South Africa. However, in any crisis, there are opportunities.

“The main lessons we learned are that the hybrid mode of delivery is probably going to be with us for a long time, if not for the foreseeable future, in other words, no university in the world will continue to teach in a single mode. In other words , you can’t teach by contact only, obviously, because COVID-19 has made contact impossible, not only between students and their teachers, but also between students and students. on its own will no longer be enough, what you see universities doing all over the world, including TUT, is developing dynamic modes of teaching that change from time to time with blended, multi-modal forms of teaching where you have podcasting, online teaching which is interactive, even the use of social networks of which we are able to create groups, courses meet on social networks. s also learned about inequality because once we had to go online it became clear which students might not have data sometimes it’s not even because they don’t have data after that the university provided data, if you are from a village, where the network is very poor, can have enough data as you want but you are not going to connect, so we have also been exposed in this way as a country. “

Excess demand for student funding

Briefing stakeholders in the higher education sector in October, the Minister for Higher Education, Science and Innovation, Dr Blade Nzimande, said the National Student Financial Assistance Scheme (NSFAS ) continues to have gaps due to the high demand for student funding. He added that despite the challenges, NSFAS funding has grown from R5.9 billion in 2014 to R49 billion in 2022.

“TUT is probably the biggest consumer of NSFAS funds in the country. I doubt there is a university that takes as large a share of NSFAS funds as TUT. Last time I checked, up to 60% of our students are funded by NSFAS. This means that we are grateful to both the government and the NSFAS and also concerned as an institution because this is how dependent our students are on funding. Fortunately, the NSFAS over the years, especially since 2016, has given more and more money to students.

Highlights and Setbacks of 2022

South Africans celebrated in July as the women’s football team, Banyana Banyana, won the title of champions of the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations. Among the stars of the winning team were former TUT students. Professor Maluleke also shares some highlights from 2022.

“The Banyana Banyana team that won the Africa Cup had four TUT players, including the scorer, the winning goal was scored by a former TUT player. It is also important to note that during the Commonwealth Games which took place in England there was a student from TUT who won gold in squash he is a Zambian this also speaks to the number of international students we have and of course we won varsity cup, our men’s team won the varsity cup. The last thing I want to say as a highlight, there is a solar car that TUT has been building since 2014; we called this solar car, the Sun Chaser. It’s a solar car. award-winning solar.

10 months in office

Prof Maluleke took over as TUT Vice-Chancellor in February. He has extensive experience in higher education, including two decades in senior management.

He says he is honored to serve his country in this way.

“Well, I’ve been in higher education for a long time. I’ve been deputy vice-chancellor, I’ve been dean, executive director of research, and deputy registrar, and I’ve been in university management for a while. I think it’s a natural evolution that if someone has made a contribution at this level, they are more likely to end up as vice-chancellor than not. It is a humbling position to be Vice-Chancellor, it is truly a position of humility and service to one’s country but also to give back to a generation of young South Africans in a way that very few South- Africans have the opportunity to do. Every time I officiate at a graduation ceremony and look at all these young people, with stars in their eyes, looking forward to new careers just graduating, it gives me great joy and pleasure to bring my contribution to this.”

Below is the full interview with Professor Maluleke:

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