Prof Paulette Bloomer
The first strategic objective of UP2025 is: “To enhance access and successful student learning through excellent teaching and relevant curricula”. NAS shares the UP vision, and thus excellence in teaching and learning is a core focus of the Faculty and its academic departments.
Over the past five years, the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences (NAS) has emphasised curriculum transformation through the renewal of our classroom practices, applying knowledge to our local context and promoting international relevance, amongst others, by incorporating the UN Sustainable Development Goals into curricula. Prior to the impact of the pandemic, the Faculty already adopted a hybrid model of teaching and learning, which has been extended in support of a more significant online component during the pandemic. However, many of our disciplines are experimental, and consequently, hands-on practical training remains essential to ensure that our graduates have the necessary skills to enter the workplace.
The Faculty is research-intensive, and we aim for enquiry-based learning and equipping our graduates to become versatile problem solvers who can easily adapt to changing circumstances and take the lead in their field of specialisation.
As part of our people-centred approach, we have the Integrated student support network@NAS, with a collective focus on student success and support. This network includes the Dean’s Office, NAS Student Administration, Faculty Student Advisors, Heads of Departments, academic advisors, the student faculty house (NATHouse), the class representatives and all our staff involved in teaching and learning.
We draw inspiration from Madiba’s wisdom; he said:
“Everyone is capable of rising above their circumstances and attaining success if they are devoted to and passionate about everything they do.”
“Education is the great engine of personal development.”