New MUT Chancellor calls for the university to play an even bigger role in Umlazi Township

MUT’s new Chancellor, Sandile Zungu

This morning, Mangosuthu University of Technology (MUT) welcomed its new Chancellor, Sandile Zungu, at a ceremony in the historic Pixley ka Isaka Seme Hall.

Delivering his inaugural address, Zungu called on the University to do even more for the community of Umlazi Township, where he was born and raised.

“Part of what I am doing with this speech is to invite you to imagine what the role of our beloved MUT should be, given the current challenges,” said Zungu. “Universities have a moral obligation to also train and educate their immediate community to meet their practical daily needs.”

He added that MUT was better positioned to engage with some of the problems that communities around the university face by offering training to community members.

“MUT should be the centre of knowledge not only for those who have been accepted to study and have paid their tuition fees but also for the rest of the community. Umlazi, like many of our townships, requires the revitalization of hope and ambition for citizens whose power banks of hope have been severely depleted. With its great symbolic power, MUT can restore hope,” said Zungu.

Zungu went on to explain that MUT should refocus its Community Engagement efforts to respond directly to the needs of the people of Umlazi Township.

“This university is rich with academics and researchers in skill-sets that could be of great benefit to the community of Umlazi. There are academics who are experts in Accounting, Law, Marketing and Agriculture, to name a few,” explained Zungu.

He also encouraged the University to consider making community service a requirement for graduation so that students can get to contribute to the community as part of their curriculum.

“MUT also has another untapped potential, that of students. We celebrate these students’ graduations every year, but we seldom give a thought to the fact that their education is funded through the National Financial Aid Scheme or not. We need to start integrating public service as part of the requirements for one to graduate with a qualification,” said Zungu.