University of South Africa: Encouraging sustainable collaborations

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In her welcoming remarks, Dr Bunki Pitsoane, Acting Deputy Director, Academic and Technology Support, said: “Unisa Gauteng Region prides itself in providing quality student support services.” She added: “We are aligning ourselves with the Principal’s Priority List of 2022; whereby there are nine pillars, one of which is student support and core curricula activities.”


Dr Genevieve James

The guest speaker, Dr Genevieve James, Deputy Director, Community Engagement and Outreach, set the scene with her Unisa Engaged presentation. In her introductory remarks, she said: “There is power in unity and collective action towards the transformation of the academy as well as development.” She added: “Many thanks to our leaders and those who have dreamed and envisioned that we continue to explore this idea of sustainable collaboration.”

James highlighted areas where collaborative efforts of engaged universities such as Unisa could apply and be more responsive to the needs of the society. For example, she engaged the audience on how Unisa, as the largest university in Africa with its unparalleled reach, alumni and qualification mix, can position itself for continental development. She further encouraged the audience to think about how the university and higher education can collaborate to develop the South Africa we want to live in and sustain future generations.

She said that Unisa is committed to examining how curricula and research can address critical societal challenges. Dr Makwena Molotja, Head of Facilitation of Learning in the Eastern Cape Region, concluded: “Looking at Unisa’s Vision 2030, with our students at the centre; we need to bear in mind that we are shaping futures, and we should inculcate the values of collaboration, engaged scholarship, sustainability, working across disciplines – multi or transdisciplinary; to those that we serve so that education does not end with obtaining a certificate, but continues after that to benefit societies and nations and make meaningful contributions.”

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