The relationship between the three pillars of the University – Teaching and Learning, Research, and Community Engagement (CE), is getting stronger and will bear even better fruits.
On 6 February 2023, the University’s Community Engagement and Development Directorate (CEAD), hosted two esteemed academics from Brazilian institutions, to support the integration of Community Engagement into teaching and learning. Professor Solange Locatelli from the Federal University of ABC, and Professor Leonardo Testoni from Federal University of Sao Paulo, met members of the CEAD, and the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Professor Angela James to discuss how CE at MUT could be integrated into Teaching and Learning through Inquiry-Based method of Teaching and Learning. Locatelli is a Professor of Chemistry and her research is on secondary education, higher education and science education, while Professor Testoni is a Chemistry Professor with a PhD in Education.
Professor Busisiwe Nkonki-Mandleni, the Director of CEAD, said the approach was “anchored on principles of engaging, problem identification, hypothesis, interpretation and systematisation, and communication. The outcome from the engagement, and as a way forward was that the four universities in KwaZulu-Natal could collaborate on one programme where individual universities would adopt Inquiry-Based Teaching and Learning as a way of integrating CE in the form of service-learning. These universities are the Durban University of Technology, the University of Zululand, the University of KwaZulu-Natal, and Mangosuthu University of Technology,” said Professor Nkonki-Mandleni.
Professor Nkonki-Mandleni indicated that the CEAD’s intention was to work closely with the University’s Teaching and Learning Development Centre (TLDC) in implementing this approach to assist in the integration of CE into teaching and learning at MUT.
As part of the partnership with Brazil, academic staff members will have CE projects in collaboration with their Brazilian counterparts.