Mangosuthu University of Technology (MUT) has appointment appointed a top researcher and academic leader as its Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research, Innovation and Engagement. Professor Nokuthula Sibiya assumed her duties on 1 September 2022.
She joined the University from Durban University of Technology (DUT), where she was a Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Teaching and Learning. While she was Head of the Department of Nursing at DUT, Professor Sibiya received an Excellence Award for Leadership in Nursing Education from the Nursing Education Association (NEA) for the successful implementation of an undergraduate nursing programme at DUT, with a strong Primary Health Care (PHC) philosophical underpinning at a tertiary institution to address the shortage of nurses in the KwaZulu-Natal Province. DUT was also the first University of Technology to offer such a programme in South Africa.
Professor Sibiya, who is affectionately known as Noks, joined DUT as a lecturer in the Department of Nursing in 2003. Professor Sibiya obtained her doctoral qualification in 2009 and served as the Head of Department of Nursing from 2011 to 2017. She was appointed as the Executive Dean of Faculty of Health Sciences in 2017. Professor Sibiya is a full Professor and a National Research Foundation-rated researcher. She is an author of more than 90 peer-reviewed journal publications, three conference proceedings, two books and 14 book chapters. Professor Sibiya has mentored countless academics who now hold senior leadership positions. She has successfully supervised 26 Doctoral and 60 Master’s students.
Professor Sibiya has presented more than 50 keynote addresses and other related presentations on national and international platforms. At the 2018 South African Women in Science Awards, the Department of Science and Technology recognised Professor Sibiya as the 2018 Distinguished Woman Scientist: Humanities and Social Sciences.
Professor Sibiya has also received several research awards from DUT. These include being the Top DUT Female Researcher of the Year, and Top Researcher in the Faculty of Health Sciences. In 2019, she was awarded the 2018 Senior Researcher of the Year. She was also awarded by the Forum of Professor Nurse Leadership as the 2019 Regional Nurse Leader.
Professor Sibiya currently serves on the editorial board of the Africa Journal of Nursing and Midwifery. She is also a Section Editor for the Health SA Gesondheid. Professor Sibiya is the reviewer for 17 national and international journals and has reviewed more than 80 manuscripts. She examined 80 master’s and doctoral theses for local and international universities.
Commenting on her new role at MUT, Professor Sibiya said that her core business was to provide strategic leadership and direction in research, innovation, technology transfer, partnerships, international linkages, and engagements, including community engagement.
“Besides being an active researcher, I am also passionate about engagement and innovation. My role will be to put systems and processes in place, as well as have a Research, Innovation and Engagement Indaba, to afford the MUT community, alumni and key stakeholders an opportunity to contribute to the Research, Innovation and Engagement (RIE) Plan of the University,” said Professor Sibiya.
Professor Sibiya added that her vision was to establish an MUT Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation to nurture and mentor student entrepreneurs to address the high rate of unemployment among MUT graduates.
Asked about her assessment of MUT, and how she was going to improve MUT’s research position, vis a vis other universities, Professor Sibiya said that MUT was “on the right trajectory to improve its research output. However, we can still do better so that soon, we have national and international rankings,” she said.
Professor Sibiya said she would use her experience as the DVC: Teaching and Learning to join hands with the Acting DVC: Teaching and Learning, Dr Manyane Makua, to improve the number of accredited master’s qualifications and thereafter doctoral programmes. She said that would contribute to the financial sustainability of the University through an increased cohort of academics with PhDs, and an increased number of postgraduate students.
Professor Sibiya prides herself as a person of values and principles: “I stand for honesty, integrity, professionalism and equality. I believe in authentic leadership”.
Professor Marcus Ramogale welcomed Professor Sibiya officially at a special physical sitting at MUT. “I am happy to welcome you to your new home and we will provide you with all the support as you settle in”, said Prof Ramogale.