Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences and the Transformation Office share their curriculum transformation goals and objectives with the UP community

Posted on December 20, 2021

"A focus on transformation is necessary for South Africa to reach its full potential", said Dean of the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences (EMS) at the University of Pretoria (UP) Professor Margaret Chitiga-Mabugu at a webinar hosted by Professor Charles Maimela, Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Law and Coordinator for the relaunch of UP’s Curriculum Transformation Drive. The Faculty of EMS and the Transformation Office were jointly hosted on the day. During the webinar, panellists shared with the University community their initiatives, goals and objectives in terms of curriculum transformation, five years after Senate adopted the Curriculum Transformation Policy Document. 


“In the Faculty of EMS, it is important to pursue progressive transformation of cultures. Without a transformed mindset our country and continent will not reach its full potential, thus the EMS Faculty plays a part in framing and reframing the minds of students and staff so that transformation becomes a central part of our values,” said Prof Chitiga-Mabugu. “We have a lot of activities and initiatives taking place in the Faculty to ensure transformation in all its facets. During the #FeesMustFall era the Faculty undertook a number of exciting initiatives to continuously respond to the transformation agenda. Some of these include the emphasis of teaching and learning bearing in mind the diversity of the student body, the relevance of teaching and learning, and the importance of accommodating the multitude of cultures among students.” Prof Chitiga-Mabugu said that transformation is an ongoing process and is monitored within the Faculty. 


Agreeing with the sentiments of Prof Chitiga-Mabugu was Professor Theuns Steyn, Acting Deputy Dean of Teaching and Learning in the EMS Faculty. “In South Africa, EMS is a major contributor of graduates in the disciplines of business management, economics, finance and public management. This presents EMS with various and dynamic expectations arising from stakeholders with diverse backgrounds, cultures and practices; and embedded in these are the expectations to equip our graduates with relevant and current competencies to the next generation of leaders in a highly diverse environment that is undergoing profound changes, powerful demographic shifts, global economics and societal demands and emerging technologies. It is of the utmost importance for the Faculty of EMS to continuously rethink and revise the curricula of all our programmes.” 


Senior lecturer in the Faculty of EMS Dr Carolyn Chisadza noted that curriculum transformation is an important aspect of teaching and learning. She said that academic staff in her department are committed to making meaningful changes in their curricula that keep the content relevant in terms of the current and global issues within the fields of various courses offered by the department. “The content of the module keeps our students engaged and interactive while helping them at the same time to achieve their full potential in terms of academic development,” she said, adding that the curriculum is aligned as closely as possible to the requirements of employers that typically absorb graduates from the Faculty. “The curriculum is aligned with international standards for our students to also be employable abroad. In our department we have also introduced a module in the third-year; that module provides an introduction to micro-level economic development, it discusses poverty, inequality and food insecurity, which are big issues in Africa.” 

Nontsikelelo Loteni, Director of UP’s Transformation Office, said that transformation can be dramatic and uncomfortable at times. “At the University of Pretoria the transformation journey is continuous, and we still need to understand our barriers – the things that are taking us back. Transformation also ensures that we all have access and that is characterised by fair treatment and transparency. Issues of transformation need to be dealt with and prioritised in order for everyone to feel welcome at the University, in an environment that is free from discrimination.” 

 

- Author Xolani Mathibela
Published by Xolani Mathibela

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