Amid the joy and fanfare in a Durban hotel, the Senior Director of the Teaching and Learning Development Centre (TLDC), Dr Manyane Makua announced that his directorate was rebranding its colloquium, which has been running for seven years. From 31 October 2019 the flagship of the directorate will be known as Focus Conference. “We want to put emphasis on teaching and learning matters as these areas are our primary focus,” said Dr Makua. Both Dr Makua and Dr Muntuwenkosi Chili of the TLDC, told the excited MUT staff and guests that have received numerous recommendations from MUT staff to consider rebranding the colloquium into a conference because it had all the elements of a conference. “By definition, a ‘colloquium’ is generally associated with a local event. Sometimes it is an institutional event where the university community meets to talk about a subject for a couple of hours. We have always been bigger than that. We want to have our footprint on a national and international stage,” said Dr Chili. The ‘conference’ would give MUT a chance to work with high-end journals. It would also attract seasoned researchers in the field of teaching and learning. The University is expected to start benefiting from the change over from the very first day of the re-branding as calls for interests in presenting in the ‘conference’ have already been made.
Dr Makua added that the ‘conference’ was going to be preceded by important events. There will be a teaching week, in which non-academic staff members, and experts from other institutions would be teaching students. “Even the VC, Dr Enoch Duma Malaza, could get a chance to teach,” said Dr Makua. What was the highlight of the event was the conference logo, which was designed by a Mechanical Engineering student, Scelo Qwabe.