The last few months have been really flown by in terms of our work, the main highlight being the achievement of full registration of the College as a Private Higher Education Training Institution. The Academic department received the Special CEO’s award for the above achievement in August 2017. Team-work definitely pays off.
The department, following its increased student learning support activities, decided to launch a student-based Natural History Society, which is focused on social learning activities, contributing to citizen and professional science. The students were trained on how to identify birds within the region and collect observational data of bird species that occur in the vicinity and operational area of the College. This valuable data is logged on to the Birdlasser smartphone application and submitted to the South African Bird Atlas 2 project, housed at the University of Cape Town. Our students have worked tirelessly and the College provides such an amazing and rich learning environment beyond the lecture room.
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Caption: Ashwell Glasson (Head of Academic Policy & Sector Advancement) with Higher Certificate students, George Phiri and Kelvin Sikagoma.
The department’s role in networking, landscape and academic planning was particularly busy, with the team commenting on several national calls for input in the Higher Education and Private Security sectors. Examples of these include the Policy on Internationalisation of Higher Education and the Call for Occupations in Demand by the Department of Higher Education and Training. These calls draw upon the subject-matter-expertise of various teams within the College to help influence national and regional policy in conservation and education. This helps reinforce our role in keeping ahead of new and emerging trends, as well as contribute to various stakeholder networks. The College has joined and supported various networks and organisations, including the Southern African Society for Cooperative Education and the SADC TFCA Capacity-building and Training Community of Practice. The Academic team have been appointed to lead the training needs assessment focus on the community of practice.
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Caption: Ashwell Glasson attended the launch meeting at South African National Parks head office in Pretoria.
In conjunction with other departments have joined the Limpopo Basin Resilience Curriculum Innovation Network (LBRCIN), in which the College is partnering with the University of Mpumalanga, University of Venda, University of Limpopo, the Pedagogical University (Mozambique) and the Eduardo Mondlane University (Mozambique). This programme is being led by Rhodes University and their Environmental Learning Research Centre, led by Professor Heila Lotz-Sisitka
Ashwell Glasson and Professor Mollel (Director of the Centre for Rural Community Empowerment and Innovation)
Early in the New Year, the team is expecting to finalise various new stakeholder partnerships with the GreenMatter Network and various other universities.