UKZN Students Attend Summer School in Germany
Six UKZN students attended the 9th Annual African American European (AAE) Summer School at the Chemnitz University of Technology (TUC) in Chemnitz, Germany.
The School of Management, IT and Governance (SMIG) students were chosen after a group of full-time research masters candidates at the School each did presentations to a selection panel.
The six were: Ms Ruvania Govender (Marketing), Ms Neeshal Gurahoo (Supply Chain Management), Mr Kenneth Ngwenya (Supply Chain Management), Mr Chenai Muhwati (Supply Chain Management), Ms Sindi Ngwenya (Public Governance) and Ms Jennifer Nxumalo (Public Governance).
The students were accompanied by the Dean and Head of the School of Management, IT and Governance, Professor Henry Wissink; Academic Leader of Teaching and Learning, Dr Indira Padayachee, and UKZN AAE Summer School Coordinator, Mr Taahir Vajeth.
The theme for the Summer School was: “Innovation and Intercultural Management for Sustainable Development”, and was hosted by the Chair of Innovation Research and Technology Management at Chemnitz University, Dr Stefan Husig.
New participants were welcomed from ICN Business School in France, HTW Chur in Switzerland, Xiamen University in China, and the University of Colorado Boulder and Drake University, both in the United States.
Academics from the above institutions, UKZN and Chemnitz presented on related aspects of the theme during the first week. Students from both UKZN and TUC engaged enthusiastically in all of these sessions and also made some valuable contributions.
The second week culminated in the Chemnitz East Forum, which is a regular international conference. Students and staff from both universities were invited to participate in this and present their research. This was an invaluable experience for them as it was the first time that they presented at an international conference. They also received valuable feedback and suggestions from the audience.
Said Muhwati: ‘The AAE Summer School was a well-designed and very interactive programme that enabled academics and students to network while also getting valuable information about sustainability and sustainable business practices. This experience (East Forum) enabled students to experience attending academic conferences and was also very useful for us to understand what is required from an academic paper and even implement these methods in our own studies.’
Gurahoo commented: ‘This was certainly an enlightened academic experience that I thoroughly enjoyed.’
Ruvania Govender said: ‘The knowledge which I have gained from each and every aspect has been a real eye-opener. I received valuable and critical ideas to help me think and act responsibly. The sustainability efforts stood out for me and were an example of how to implement them in South Africa.’
Sindi Ngwenya – ‘As a masters student such interdisciplinary and intercultural programs are helpful so to understand how other researchers and academics from international countries think and how they do their projects; also to interact and network with them creates opportunities for collaborating for future research purposes.’
Jennifer Nxumalo – ‘It was interesting to know that our School is in a process of infusing the Principles of Responsible Management Education in the Syllabus. This will help spread the word, and ensure that our future entrepreneurs have the best strategies in place to engage in sustainable practices. All in all, it was the greatest moments in my life and I have learned so much around the theme of the Summer School, and I have also learned a lot about myself as well. It was indeed an eye opening experience.’
Kenneth Ngwenya – ‘The highpoint of the summer school was when we presented our working papers to the East Forum, this was a panel of academics from different parts of the world. We find this of great benefit as we received insights from different academics regarding our studies and I am proud to say this is when the UKZN students stood up for the challenge and did South Africa proud. As a member of the UKZN Team in attendance I believe that our academics who accompanied us also made this trip a success as they were also involved in conducting lectures and workshops.’
Wissink said the AAE Summer School had now become one of the annual highlights of the School of Management, IT and Governance calendar, empowering students to become future leaders of sustainable and responsible management practices. ‘At the same time they are gaining valuable experience in presenting their papers at international forums – and hopefully also contributing to growing our own timber.’