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Friday, 15 November 2019

Boot camp boosts fitness

Staff and students are shaping up at a free boot camp series at the Outdoor Gym on the Bellville campus.

The boot camp sessions take place on weekdays from 4 pm to 6 pm and staff and students can join any 30-minute slot during this time.

“Professional trainers facilitate the camp every day. The pieces of outdoor equipment in the gym are used to enhance body fitness. The sessions are absolutely free, there is no sign-up fee and you can come whenever you feel you need to level up your fitness,” said Phillip Chibvuri from the CPUT Residence Business Unit.

Chibvuri said participation and interest in the boot camp were growing.

“We are looking at ways to bring excitement to all students and staff about appreciating the spaces we have on our campuses as well as the benefits of a healthier lifestyle, which can go a long way in enhancing productivity and output,” he said.

Chibvuri added, “Once the boot camp has deeper roots we are looking at giving students and staff swimming lessons to equip them with this skill more especially as we live in a coastal metropole.”

After six years, five cohorts and graduating 79 students, a pioneering Architecture programme, which was developed to transform the industry, has successfully concluded.

The Open Architecture – Cape Peninsula University of Technology (OA-CPUT) collaboration on the BTech: Architectural Technology course was a first of its kind in Africa, and is one of only six programmes worldwide (including the USA, Canada, Africa and Australia) to offer architectural design education online.

The innovative blended learning model enabled working students to do studio-based learning in an online environment with the support of office-based mentors, lecturers and student peers, with occasional scheduled on-campus block sessions.

Online critique sessions often continued despite the challenges of load shedding and venue challenges during the fees crisis.

Department of Architectural Technology & Interior Design Senior Lecturer Jolanda Morkel praised the dedication of the students and staff involved.

“This programme is a testimony of passion, dedication and perseverance of people. A group of people believed in making the impossible possible. This marks the culmination of a decade’s work from CPUT’s side,” said Morkel.

Open Architecture Programme Director, Prof Lone Poulsen, said the programme was trailblazing in that it attempted to transform the Architecture industry in a digitally savvy way that accommodated diverse student needs, and that it has helped shift the mindset that architectural learning can only happen in a physical studio.

CPUT is currently phasing out the BTech Architectural Technology degree in accordance with the new HEQSF structure. In 2020 this alternative model will become the norm, with the implementation of a new two-year blended Advanced Diploma, drawing on the lessons learnt. Contact Thandiswa Madadasana at for more information on studying Architectural Technology.

The South Africa/Swedish University Forum (SASUF) is showing its muscles in support of the Sustainable Development Goals.

The excellent work produced by postgraduate students was acknowledged and showcased during the recent Postgraduate Conference.
Hosted by the Centre for Postgraduate Studies, the event gave Masters and Doctoral candidates the opportunity to deliver presentations and present posters on their research activities and innovations.

Vice-Chancellor, Prof Chris Nhlapo, said the day was an important one on the CPUT calendar.

“If we are serious about building One Smart CPUT, we have to encourage each and every student and say: ‘this continent needs you, this country needs you’.”

Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research, Technology, Innovation and Partnerships, Prof Marshall Sheldon, said the event aimed to give postgraduate students, who were close to graduating, the opportunity to share their results with an audience and engage in a scientific way.

“It’s also to acknowledge the great work our postgraduate students are doing and to provide us with an opportunity to create a research environment and build up a culture that we want to build within CPUT as we close our vision 2020 and transition into our Vision 2030 to become one smart CPUT.”

Research Director, Prof Dina Burger, encouraged the delegates to use the conference to explore opportunities to link up with the research being done by others.
“That is ultimately what research is about – working together and going beyond your own discipline and looking at things from different perspectives.”

The winner in the oral presentation category was Uchenna Okwuosa (MEng Mechanical Engineering), whose presentation was titled: Development of Shrouded Thrust Vectoring System for Short Take-Off Control. In second place was Talent Moyo (DComm Marketing) while Lizel Hudson (Doctorate in Radiography) was third.

The winner of the poster presentations was Kayla Arendse (MTech Retail Business Management), whose presentation was titled: Critical success factors for e-tailing: a case study of clothing retailers in Cape Town. Bulelwa Ntobela (Master of Horticultural Science) was second while Shaheed Roos: (Master of Horticultural Science) and Romuald Kouami Tchamba (MEng Mechanical) tied for third place.

The universities in the Western Cape mutually benefit from best practices and advances in the crucial and dynamic teaching and learning space in higher education, so that they remain responsive and current in order, to attract and engage the best minds.

Two CPUT students, who have been crowned Miss and Mr City of Cape Town respectively, are eyeing national titles.

Thursday, 07 November 2019

Focus on First Year Experience

The First Year Experience (FYE) was the focus of a recent symposium hosted at Saretec by the Fundani Centre for Higher Education Development (CHED).

The event delved into a number of interesting topics around the FYE and attendees included retention officers and mentors from various campuses as well as staff members.

Dr Annsilla Nyar, Director of the South African National Resource Centre for the First-Year Experience and Students in Transition, was one of three keynote speakers.Her address was titled: Shifting our thinking about the First-Year Experience and issues of student retention and success: some important questions.

She said the field of FYE has grown significantly in a matter of years but was “still a work in progress”.

Nyar commended CPUT for being one of the institutions that have been at the forefront in keeping the FYE alive.

Dr Soraya Motsabi, FYE Coordinator at the University of Johannesburg was the second keynote speaker and focused her address on preparing students for the Fourth Industrial Revolution through FYE.

The third keynote speaker was Dr Subethra Pather, teaching and learning specialist in the office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Academic at the University of the Western Cape. Her address was titled: I heard it through the Grapevine: First Year Student Transition.

Dr Nosisana Mkonto, institutional coordinator for the FYE at CPUT, thanked staff members, retention officer, mentors, the various units and “champions” in the faculties who are all contributing to the FYE at CPUT.