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Tuesday, 19 January 2021

Academic secures prestigious scholarship

FRUITFUL OUTCOMES: The Department of Clothing & Textile Technology Lecturer and Curriculum Officer, Dr Sweta Patnaik aspires to see herself as a good academic, to constantly push boundaries that always restrict people. FRUITFUL OUTCOMES: The Department of Clothing & Textile Technology Lecturer and Curriculum Officer, Dr Sweta Patnaik aspires to see herself as a good academic, to constantly push boundaries that always restrict people.

The Department of Clothing & Textile Technology Lecturer and Curriculum Officer, Dr Sweta Patnaik, is ‘honoured’ to be the first CPUT recipient of the prestigious German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) UNILEAD Scholarship to enrol for a DIES UNILEAD Course at the University of Oldenburg in 2021.

The course brings together the topics of Project Management, Strategic Management & Academic Leadership and Human Resource Management for young managers at higher education institutions in developing countries. One of the key criteria is that applicants should have been holding a university management position with managerial and personnel responsibilities

There were over 150 applicants from over 17 countries and out of which around 25 made it.  “Honestly, I wasn’t sure if I was going to make it, however when I got the outcomes, I couldn’t believe it,” Patnaik divulges.

“I am happy about it. But with this, comes a sense of responsibility to not only give my best for myself or department or faculty but for the institution.”

The course is broken down into four phases two online and two face-to-face visits at the University of Oldenberg, which inspired Patnaik to consider four aspects such as Internationalisation, Sustainability of the Curriculum, 4IR and Academic Leadership into the picture and complete a project out of it.

Patnaik's professional career in SA began in 2016 when she joined CPUT as a lecturer in the Department of Clothing and Textile Technology. Due to her positions as a Teaching and Learning Coordinator and also the Curriculum Officer of her department, Patnaik had the opportunity to develop two qualifications which are the Advanced Diploma in Clothing and Textile Technology, the first batch started in 2020. The second one is Post Graduate Diploma in Clothing and Textile Technology, ‘of which we are waiting for our SAQA ID’. Currently, she is working on developing a Master’s degree for the department. 

Her research interests are Waste Management, Sustainability, E-learning and Blended Learning, Teaching and Learning in the higher education sector.

Patnaik has few publications in her name and conference proceedings. One of her accolades is receiving a ‘Best Paper Award’ at a conference in the year 2020.

Her passion for teaching has led her to research innovation in teaching and learning in the higher education sector. She also won the Nelson Mandela University Rising Start Alumni Award for the year 2020, for her contribution towards the field of her expertise. Patnaik is also an external examiner for the University of Pretoria. In addition, she has been a reviewer of various journals, conference papers and session chair at conferences. 

Patnaik says ‘this learning will not only be for me to keep it, but I will share this expertise earned within the CPUT community through various platforms possible’.

“My work is my passion, if I have agreed to some commitment [then] I give my 100%. I always want to give my best, no matter how big or small the job is…I aspire to see myself as a good academic, to constantly push boundaries that always restrict us”.

Written by Aphiwe Boyce

Email: boyceap@cput.ac.za

Provides coverage for the Engineering and the Built Environment and Applied Sciences Faculties.