MUT structures ensure a smooth start to registration

Xolani interacting with some of the students and parents outside his office

MUT Management’s forward thinking has resulted in identifying threats to the registration process. The registration process is being monitored and constant evaluation will be enhanced to ensure a seamless registration programme for prospective and returning students. Towards the end of 2017 Management convened a meeting of all stakeholders wherein the registration for 2018 was discussed and resolutions were taken. Xolani Kunene, the Head of Administration, said the structures they put in place were assisting with the distribution of the necessary information to all that needed it, particularly the prospective students. “Our call centre and the enquiries section communicate with the prospective and new students. The result of this is less confusion and no frustration on the part of the students. Also feedback from other departments regarding registration also helps a lot. For instance the Department of Marketing and Communications brought to our attention an issue with the call centre numbers. Those have since been sorted out.” Also student leaders and Protection Services are giving relevant information to prospective students, like referring them to the CAO for assistance.

Xolani added that starting the selection process early also helped. “We started selecting last year. Our communication with applicants clarified issues.”

We want young researchers to join in early – Dr Shapi

Dr Shapi, in a white shirt, and Prof Davies, both standing, with MUT staff and students during the workshop

MUT students and young researchers have been put in a position that can propel them to make a great impact in the field of research, thanks to Dr Michael Shapi, the Head of Department of Analytical Chemistry. Dr Shapi organised a workshop on 4 December 2017 where former MUT Research Professor in the Faculty of Natural Sciences, Prof Theophilus Davies gave lectures on health-related dangers posed by the retired mines in Africa, and the importance of multidisciplinary collaborative research, and how to write a successful proposal. “We all have limited time in the workplace, it is important to bring young researchers and students into research,” said Dr Shapi, a well-published academic. Dr Shapi said the students admitted they learnt a lot from Prof Davies, a University of Humboldt scholar. Prof Davies continues to work with MUT academics. He recently published a paper with Dr Shapi, Dr Devandren Nadasen of the Department of Nature Conservation, and others, titled: Background Concentration of Potentially Harmful Elements in Soils of the Kette-Batouri, Eastern Cameroon. Prof Davies is a Chartered Geologist. He is currently a visiting Professor of Medical Geology at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria.

Industry judges give thumbs up for Biomed students

The winners! Sanelisiwe is first from right

In its attempt to make the students work-ready, the Department of Biomedical Technology sent out 38 third year students to do integrated laboratory practice (ILP) with various industries.  After six months the students did presentations on 28-29 November 2017. They were grilled by six industry leaders who were udges. “They are 60% ready for internship. They gave good presentations,” said four judges. Maespari Paul, a judge from NHLS – Cytology IALCH, said the gaps will be closed once the internship starts with training on policies and procedures. Sanelisiwe Gumede was first out of seven winners. Sanelisiwe said she felt ecstatic. She prepared well for the presentation. Sanelisiwe did her ILP at Addington Hospital.  To Rowan Pillay, one judge from the NHLS Histo said: “Excellent presentation!” Rowan, and another student, got the second position. Dr Lungi Kwitshana, Biomed HOD, said they would continue creating opportunities for students to observe what happens in the real world of work “even before they sit for the selection test,” said Dr Kwitshana.

Surprise visit to MarComms by Analytical Chemistry alumna

Thandeka, middle, accepts a present from MarComms’ Nganele Dube. Sitting is Mbali Mkhize, MarComms’ Senior Director

As a response to the invitation by MarComms to alumni during the roadshow to visit their alma mater, Thandeka Molakeng made a pact with herself that she would honour the request. On 30 November 2017 the 1999 Analytical Chemistry graduate paid a surprise visit to the Alumni Relations Office at MarComms. Although in a hurry, Thandeka ended up spending a long time at MarComms. Thandeka also signed a pledge to contribute to the Alumni Bursary Fund. Thandeka is Head of Sales for BASF’s Performance Material Division in Africa.  She is responsible for the division’s sales for African countries, with the exclusion of Egypt and Sudan.

 

Automation giant donates equipment to MUT’s Electrical Engineering department

On the foreground is the donated equipment. Prof Naidoo, fourth from right, shakes hands with Bruce. Ntokozo is between them. Others are MUT and Siemens staff, and students

Siemens, a giant multi-national automation company, has donated an equipment to the value of R411 000 to MUT. Prof Ralph Naidoo of the Department of Electrical Engineering, said the donation would put the department in an even a stronger position. Prof Naidoo,  who has  published papers on the current Siemens equipment in the MUT lab, and has seen an MUT alumnus graduating with a Master’s through Unisa on the Siemens equipment,  said the new equipment would give the students a good idea as to what happens in industry. “Also, as far as job opportunities are concerned, MUT students will be in a stronger position.”  Ntokozo Cele, Product Promoter/Sales Specialist, is one of the students that benefited from using the Siemens equipment in the MUT labs while studying between 2006 and 2008. She said Prof Naidoo’s up-to-date knowledge of industry, and the fact that he gives students assignments on current issues, was the main reason that gave her confidence to choose Siemens.  Her class assignments were based on what Siemens does, and were very relevant. Bruce Atherton, Siemens KZN Manger, said what they were doing was part of the company’s Grow Africa initiative. He pointed that the highlight of MUT’s relationship with Siemens, which began in 2000, was the quality of students from MUT.

 

MUT signs an MOU with Nigeria’s university

Committed! Prof Onuegbu Ugwu, left, and Prof Ramogale, right, signing the MOU while Prof Haupt looks on

MUT’s research is heading for a very strong position thanks to the MOU signed by MUT and Nigeria’s Federal University, Ndufu-Alike, Ikwo (FUNAI), a university in Ebonyi State in western Nigeria. “Let it work,” said a happy MUT Acting VC, Prof Marcus Ramogale after the signing. Prof Onuegbu Ugwu, Director, Research and Development, signed for FUNAI.  As far as the MOU goes, the two universities will collaborate in research, which will bring synergy and save resources. This will enhance the quality of research from both institutions. There will also be an exchange of students so they could acquire relevant exposure to research in a different African country. The MOU will cut across all three MUT faculties. Prof Ugwu said collaboration between universities was a global trend.  Prof Theo Haupt, Research Professor in the Faculty of Engineering at MUT, said the reason for choosing FUNAI was two-fold. “We want to provide access, affordability and find African solutions to African problems. Also, FUNAI’s vision is very similar to MUT’s. For instance their priority areas of research are the same as ours, but also much broader. I am a very strong proponent of African collaboration,” said Prof Haupt, who added that the two universities were equal partners in the agreement that he said would be followed through. FUNAI’s research themes are agriculture, health, engineering, community services and frontiers. Frontiers include nanotechnology, biotechnology, and innovative solutions to climate change. Both Prof Haupt and Prof Ugwu said this approach would contribute to the realization of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals 2030. Another common area between the two universities is that they are both keen to include entrepreneurial skills in their academic offerings. Prof Ramogale’s presence enhanced
support for this MoU at executive level.

 

MUT hosts the 2nd National conference on Human Settlement

Mangosuthu University of Technology (MUT) is honoured to host the 2nd National Conference on Human Settlements which will take place at the Elangeni/Maharani Hotel from 5-6 October.

MUT is the second University to sign a Memorandum of Agreement with the National Department of Human Settlements. The partnership with MUT is part of a coherent and rigorous five pillar Professionalisation strategy by DHS which is also designed to elevate the stature and standing of MUT in the research community. It aims to draw in an appropriate configuration of partners, agencies, government departments and private sector actors such that a new resource is created; one that is focused on technology and innovation and  adds a new dimension to Human Settlement’s value chain. As such the conference is also a culmination of collaborative work between NDHS, KZN DHS, eThekwini Municipality, MUT and NHBRC.

Minister Lindiwe Sisulu of DHS, said the Conference theme for 2017 is “Human Settlements Development and Technological Innovations. This theme is timely and seeks to solicit participation of researchers, practitioners and academics among others, to share their ideas, experiences and findings with this community of practice. In this way, knowledge sharing on broad human settlements development and particularly technology and innovation issues serves as the main thematic area for the 2017 conference.”

MUT has recently appointed a Research Chair in Human Settlement, Professor Babatunde Agbola, a seasoned academic to head the portfolio. Prof Agbola received his PhD in 1983 from the University of Pennsylvania, USA. He has been a lecturer at Nigeria’s Premier University, the University of Ibadan, Nigeria since then. Prof Agbola has been a visiting lecturer at a number of universities, in both Africa and the US. Both the Department of Human Settlements and NHBRC validated Agbola’s credentials and agreed that he was recruited after MUT had failed to get a candidate with relevant credentials.

Agbola, whose actual position is Research Chair/Professor in Human Settlement, said his role was to “design and develop course materials for the Post-Graduate Diploma in Human Settlement and offer Master’s Degree Programmes, also in Human Settlement. I am also able to conceptualise and implement a multi-disciplinary research agenda relevant to Human Settlement Development and Management, and seek means to professionalise the human settlement sector.” He added that he intended to turn the programme into a Department of Human Settlement, and eventually into a Faculty of Environmental Design and Management where all aspects of the building and allied building environment courses will be taught. As Prof Agbola puts it, this latest move is going to make MUT a University of first choice.

Such an addition will give MUT staff with PhDs all the more reasons for staying as it will give them a chance to supervise post-grad students. It is also an indication of how seriously MUT and the government view the issue of human accommodation.

For more information on the conference speakers, please contact, Hlophe@mut.ac.za

Notes for the Editors:

  1. Bio for Prof Agbola
  2. Conference programme

SASCO WINS SRC ELECTIONS AT MUT

26 September 2017

Media advisory

Submitted by Mbali Mkhize, senior director, marketing & communications

Email address: mbali@mut.ac.za  

SASCO WINS SRC ELECTIONS AT MUT

For a 4th consecutive year, SASCO has won elections at MUT.

The results are as follows:

SASCO: 5 seats

SADESMO: 04

Independent candidates: 2

The independent candidates are SASCO members. Therefore; MUT 2017/18 SRC is made up of seven SASCO members and four SADESMO members. Portfolio allocation will be done on Thursday 28 September. The inauguration of the MUT 2017/18 SRC will take place on 06 October 2017.

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MUT’s 6th Empowered Administrators Conference grows beyond expectations

31 August 2017
Press release statement
Submitted by Bheki Hlophe, Media Relations & Publications Officer
Email address: Hlophe@mut.ac.za 061 283 2257

MUT’s 6th Empowered Administrators Conference grows beyond expectations

Five years ago, Mangosuthu University of Technology conceptualised a first conference for office professionals to be ever organised by a University. The Empowered Administrators Conference (EAC) has exceeded expectations. The success of the EAC over the years has resulted in the organisers calling it ‘a ship that does not sink’. The conference theme for 2017 is ‘Captaining office AdministratorShip’; “a theme conceptualised at a high-order thinking, aimed at framing the work of an office professional as being beyond the general office mundane duties”, said Mbali Mkhize, Senior Director, Marketing & Communications at MUT. The conference takes place at Durban’s Hilton Hotel from 4-5 September 2017.
‘Captaining office AdministratorShip’ theme has been coined because of the following reasons: this unique office administrators’ conference has continued to grow from strength to strength. This is measured by the impact the EAC has had upon the organisations over the last years. Some delegates have been promoted while others have introduced big changes in their organisations as a result of the EAC. Also, particularly this year, the EAC has seen continued support from government, private sector and academic institutions. Altogether, the number of delegates is more than 200, and is expected to grow with late registrations.

Mbali said, “In order for office professionals to better serve their line managers, departments and organisations, EAC 2017 will polish office professionals’ skills in:
• Project management
• Stakeholder engagement
• Communication
• Transformation and equity
• Becoming an office professional of worth: Understanding office dynamics, emotional intelligence (EQ) and Spiritual Intelligence (SQ)
• Championing technology”
• Championing Healthy living.
Speakers are drawn from different sectors and Dr Makhosi Khoza, MP, will provide a keynote speech on “Captaining the strategy of the office and operational plans as well as Being an advisor to your department/line manager/faculty”. She draws her presentation from her former appointments as CEO, KWANALOGA and SALGA.

As the EAC grows, it also encourages corporate social responsibility among delegates. This year, the beneficiary will be the Bobbi Bear, an NGO which ‘works with children who have been sexually abused’. Each delegate will bring a bear to support this cause.
The EAC continues to attract sponsorships from the hospitality industry, KIA Motors, Unilever, Van Schaick Bookstore and Executrade Corporate Gifts.
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EAC delegate collects over 150 bears for a good cause

3 September 2017

Press release statement

Submitted by Bheki Hlophe, Media Relations & Publications Officer

Email address: Hlophe@mut.ac.za 061 283 2257

EAC delegate collects over 150 bears for a good cause

The annual Empowered Administrators Conference (EAC) has proved its mettle that it is not wired towards developing office professionals with skills required by the job only. One of the fundamental achievements the EAC has done at a personal level has been to raise awareness on empowerment among delegates. To this end, the EAC has inculcated a sense of social justice and responsibility among delegates. ‘It is critical that every office professional becomes aware of the plight of the disenfranchised, and use every opportunity to give back and assist those’, is the mantra of the EAC team.

As the EAC grows, it also encourages corporate social responsibility among delegates. This year, the beneficiary will be the Bobbi Bear NGO which ‘works on behalf of children who have been sexually abused’. One EAC delegate of note is Nokulunga Nkabinde. She is an office administrator within the Department of Education, Umlazi District. Nokulunga, all by herself, has sourced over 150 teddy bears, using the communications skills, customer-centric approach, stakeholder engagement and emotional intelligence skills. It is worth noting that such skills were incorporated into the EAC programme in the past years.

Mbali Mkhize, Senior Director, Marketing and Communications at MUT, said: “The approach we are inculcating among office professionals is being aware of own their space. An office professional must have an executive presence, make people raise up their heads and want to engage her positively. We see this as lacking in general. We are humbled that the office professionals are now riding a wave of owning their spaces. For the past six years, we have been honing in on our delegates, who are now coming across with confidence, ease and polish.” These are the attributes that will go a long way in opening doors for others. Even if office professionals are themselves unable to assist others at present, they would be able to do so when they understand what owning your space all is about.

Each conference delegate will be bringing a bear and these will go a long way towards achieving the dream of the Bobbi Bear Foundation. The foundation seeks to comfort abused children by giving them a teddy bear for cuddling.

 

 

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