26 March 2020 Volume :8 Issue :8

MoU to Benefit Students and Staff in Human Settlements Research on Social Issues

MoU to Benefit Students and Staff in Human Settlements Research on Social Issues
Front from left: Ms Puseletso Nale, KZN Department of Human Settlements; Professor Nhlanhla Mkhize; Professor Vivian Ojong, Acting Dean of the School of Social Sciences; Dr Desiree Manicom; and (back) Ms Zandile Cele, KZN Department of Human Settlements and Dr Sthembiso Myeni.

UKZN and the KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) Department of Human Settlements signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which will create opportunities for students to acquire skills in monitoring, evaluating and researching issues related to human settlements.

The School of Social Sciences, as part of its community engagement activities, initiated and facilitated the signing of the MoU, which is in line with its partnership with the provincial government.

Students will be involved in practical work experience and research projects, which will assist them to find a job while helping speed up the Department’s programme evaluations and finalisation of reports as well as being, alerted to the Department’s internship programmes.

‘Through this partnership, the KZN Department of Human Settlements also hopes to enhance the evaluation and research skills of its employees by drawing on the expertise and experience of UKZN staff,’ said the Academic Leader for Community Engagement in the School of Social Sciences, Dr Desiree Manicom.

Specifically the University will provide support to the Department’s Evaluation Reference Committee through two academics - Manicom and Dr Sthembiso Myeni of the School of Built Environment and Development Studies.

This support will take the form of inputs to evaluation plans and final evaluation reports while the academics will also co-ordinate and assist with the supervision of students participating in the Department’s projects.

‘The School hopes that this engagement with a provincial government department will lead to the implementation of UKZN’s Strategic Goal 3, which is to promote high-impact societal and stakeholder community engagement through developing engaged alumni, driving key stakeholder community enhancement projects, strengthening University transactional research and developing key public and private sector partnerships,’ said Manicom.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College of Humanities, Professor Nhlanhla Mkhize said: ‘We are excited about this partnership as it will allow our students to not only engage their theoretical knowledge but to put it into practice within the workforce and in communities.’

Words and photograph: Melissa Mungroo

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