Student Development Officer graduates with a PhD

Dr Ntuli

He has come full circle! Mthokozisi Emmanuel Ntuli, Student Development Officer in the Department of Student Affairs recently graduated with a PhD in Higher Education. This is the fulfilment of a dream whose implementation began at MUT in 1992 when Dr Ntuli enrolled for National Diploma in Personnel Management at a tender age of 18. Now he holds a PhD in a very specialised area of student activism and university governance and leadership development. His title was “Implications of Student Activism on University Governance: A Multi-Case Study in South Africa. Dr Ntuli read for his degree at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.

“I chose this title as it was most appropriate for my area of work. For me student governance and leadership development is not just a job that one needs to do from 8am to 4pm. It is a profession that needs to be taken seriously. We all need to have a deeper understating of what it is like to be a student nowadays, and the kind of challenges that students face, given the historical account of higher education in South Africa. The dynamics of higher education have changed such that it has become essential to think deeper about student governance and leadership development, and the place of a student at a University,” said Dr Ntuli.

Dr Ntuli is also an alumni of the Durban University of Technology and the University of Durham, UK, where he read for his Master’s. In 2018, he was awarded Erasmus Mundus plus Scholarship to study at the University of Tampere, Finland, on a Doctoral Students Exchange Programme. While at the University of Tampere, Dr Ntuli attended a doctoral course, which was taught by Professors from the US, UK, Europe, and South America, Africa, Australia and China. Dr Ntuli said this provided Dr Ntuli with new insight on university governance and leadership development, and leadership, student activism, governance and leadership development. Dr Ntuli said that he would like to empower others with the skills and knowledge that he has acquired and would like to utilise his newly acquired insights and perspectives for the development of the institution. “This is a very specialised area. I would like to see the number of people that enrol to study this area growing. This will have a direct positive influence upon the management of the higher education sector as the role of the students and student leadership is fast becoming more prominent,” said Dr Ntuli. Dr Ntuli added that his immediate goal was to entrench the love and understanding of student issues upon the higher education sector. “I will do this by engaging with colleagues in the sector through writing papers, and sharing information in various ways,” he said. Dr Ntuli has already published papers on student leadership and governance.

Dr Ntuli has been working at the University for 24 years. He worked for seven years in IT&N as a Technician focusing on access control system management, three years as Bursaries, Loans and Awards Officer, three years as Senior Officer: Bursaries, Loans, Awards and Scholarships, 11 years as student Development Officer. His love for interacting with all matters that have to do with students drew him towards the Department of Student Affairs, which he joined in 2009.