UKZN Honours its Emerging Academics
The Human Resources Department (HRD) hosted a gala dinner at the Southern Sun Hotel to honour and celebrate UKZN’s emerging academics.
The University’s emerging academics programme aims to transform its academic staff complement so that it is representative of the demographics of the province and the country.
In his welcome address, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (DVC) for Research Professor Mosa Moshabela congratulated the recipients for their achievements and hard work. He said that the work of the programme aligns with the University’s transformation agenda and that UKZN ‘grows its own timber.’ Moshabela added that the University is about excellence where rough diamonds are transformed into polished ones. It continues to strive to create an environment conducive to research and innovation and to increase and retain its academic talent pool.
HRD’s Dr Michael Cloete said that the division is proud of the emerging academics programme. He explained its key features and added that its driving force is to enable the University to maintain its supply of academics. He commended all UKZN staff associated with the programme.
Emerging academics are categorised into three programmes. The Accelerated Academic Development Programme (AADP) initiated and funded by the University seeks to improve representation and reshape the academic sector. Candidates are required to complete their PhDs within five years and are then credentialed as lecturers into the system. The New Generation of Academics Programme (nGAP) is funded by the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) to assist universities to recruit new academics in line with their scarce and critical skills. The Talent Excellence and Equity Acceleration Scholarship (TEEAS) was adopted by the University to address the fact that South African Africans were under-represented in its academic staff. It aims to attract top-performing African graduates to become future academic employees.
The gala dinner programme was directed by UKZN alumnus Dr Lusanda Zwane, a Medical School graduate based at Ngwelezane Hospital who commented that the fact that they are mainly Black and female says a lot about the current academic space.
DVC for Health Sciences Professor Busisiwe Ncama and DVC for Teaching and Learning Professor Sandile Songca congratulated the academics, while the Deputy Chair of Council Dr Mark Hayes and Corporate Relations Executive Director Ms Normah Zondo presented the awards.
Speaking on behalf of the recipients, Dr Tshepiso Papo thanked the funders of the programme, the College DVCs, Human Resources staff and the Research Office for playing an integral part in their development. She added that they are grateful for the support to complete their PhDs and acknowledged the programme’s first cohort who laid the foundation and ironed out all the challenges.
Cloete thanked the recipients and all UKZN staff members who helped to put the event together.
Words: Sithembile Shabangu
Photographs: Siphosethu Dlamini