Recently I had the opportunity to spend a few hours with 20 representatives from industry. Also present were three deans, school directors and colleagues from the Career Centre. The purpose was to hear from industry how we as a university are doing.
Do our graduates make the grade? And what should we as a university do to better prepare our students? These are important questions, for the extent to which we succeed is crucial to our success as a university.
Present at the said engagement were industry representatives from the fields of human resources and industrial psychology. In future, I will also be present when we engage with various other industries and professional bodies.
We simply have to engage regularly with the world “out there” to keep in touch. I am confident that many of our academics do just that and I encourage others to also do so.
This attitude of engagement ties in with our commitment to excellence in teaching and learning. Our strategy states clearly that we want to “excel in innovative learning and teaching and cutting-edge research, thereby benefiting society through knowledge”.
Our internal success model rightly positions high-quality teaching and learning as of paramount importance.
We thus take serious note of
• external peer reviews,
• student satisfaction levels,
• employer feedback and
• employability of work-seeking graduates.
Our aim is that our graduates should be employed or self-employed within six months after leaving the NWU. To achieve this, our new teaching and learning strategy states, among others:
“The challenge for educators is to engage with students at a level and within a context familiar to them.
“We aim to design learning experiences that make educationally sound use of the opportunities provided by technologies and digital resources.
“The NWU will present students with opportunities to acquire the critical, evaluative and research skills to be able to form coherent understanding in a variety of contexts.
“We want them to develop into lifelong learners who will flourish in an uncertain world.”
Our challenge is clear-cut. Let us tackle it with enthusiasm.