Giving a welcome speech to the more than 200 delegates that attended the 10th annual Focus Conference that took place from 23-25 August 2023 off campus, the Acting Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University, Professor Marcus Ramogale, gave the reason for founding the Teaching and Learning Development Centre (TLDC) in 2013, and its successes since then. “This year we celebrate the 10th anniversary of the TLDC. We recognised the critical need for a dedicated development unit to provide teaching and learning support to staff and students. Professor Ramogale said some of the achievements of the centre were the wide-ranging training and professional development initiatives, with a focus on upskilling lecturers to become conversant in E-learning and blended pedagogies. “The TLDC also contributed to the enrolment of academics in postgraduate diplomas in higher education and educational technology, thus equipping our lecturers with the necessary skills to succeed in modern higher education,” Professor Ramogale said. He said that in just 10 years, the TLDC had become a “champion of E-learning, offering courses and training to ensure our students are well-prepared for life after graduation”. He also said that through a range of support initiatives such as the Writing Centre, Academic Advising, Digital Literacy, E-learning, and Academic Literacy the TLDC contributes to holistic development of our students”. Professor Ramogale added that the centre was promoting student retention and graduation by providing a positive supportive learning environment.
Unsurprisingly, Professor Ramogale also gave great support to MUT staff members who presented a paper on the University’s effort to promote and guide entrepreneurship at the Institution. Responding to a presentation: Investigating the impact of the Wadhwani National Entrepreneurship Network in instilling an entrepreneurship mindset to university of technology students, by Faculty of Management Sciences staff – Ntombifuthi Mthembu, Hlengiwe Mhlongo, Slindile Mkhize, and Bhekabantu Ntshangase. The Acting Vice-Chancellor and Principal said what was most difficult to deal with, in the process of creating a business-minded individual, was changing the minds of individuals. Professor Ramogale said that promoters of business at the University should spend time focusing on this aspect. He said the other technical aspects were part of the process and were easy to handle.