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Academic Integrity and Relevancy

As a centre of specialization that focuses on the training and education needs of the conservation sector, we strive to ensure that our learning programmes, training methods and culture of learning remain relevant and in many cases ahead of existing needs.

In carrying out our mandate, it is important for our academic department to influence, advocate and ensure that our policies, programmes and resources meet national and international education and training requirements. This means at minimum, that we maintain our registration and accreditation with the relevant authorities and participate meaningfully in the formulation of education and training initiatives.

At present, South Africa is undertaking significant changes in its higher education and training landscape in order to transform and improve educational outcomes and opportunities for the youth and communities, particularly in rural regions. Our academic team represents the College in various high-level forums, from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) through to new qualification development processes in partnership with the state and other key stakeholders.

Within the next 18 months or so, new qualifications and education policies will be rolled out in the conservation sector.  The College is thus in process of assessing, adjusting and improving its offerings to ensure we remain a relevant, needs-based and high-impact training institution.

In turn, our managers, trainers and lecturers are encouraged to have an academic as well as professional orientation. This means that we recruit staff and develop trainers and lecturers that have extensive professional experience in the programmes that they lecture and train in.

As an applied learning institution, this balance is critical, ensuring that we aim for academic integrity, with high-relevancy in the sector. These cross-cutting approaches harness the power of social and situational learning, in which common conservation challenges become part of the ‘golden-thread’ of our training and education programmes. This allows our students, who come from diverse backgrounds from across the SADC region and beyond, to collaborate and develop solutions and insights into existing conservation challenges, including the illegal wildlife trade, transfrontier conservation management and inclusive conservation, which acknowledges community rights in the conservation landscape, among others.

In turn, our managers, trainers and lecturers are encouraged to have an academic as well as professional orientation. This means that we recruit staff and develop trainers and lecturers that have extensive professional experience in the programmes that they lecture and train in.

As an applied learning institution, this balance is critical, ensuring that we aim for academic integrity, with high-relevancy in the sector. These cross-cutting approaches harness the power of social and situational learning, in which common conservation challenges become part of the ‘golden-thread’ of our training and education programmes. This allows our students, who come from diverse backgrounds from across the SADC region and beyond, to collaborate and develop solutions and insights into existing conservation challenges, including the illegal wildlife trade, transfrontier conservation management and inclusive conservation, which acknowledges community rights in the conservation landscape, among others.