for tomorrow

Engagement Office

 

As part of the 2015 NMMU 10 Year Anniversary celebrations,

CAEC asked staff members to share their Engagement stories in ten lines, 

while standing the chance to win R10 000 towards their Engagement project.

 

Congratulations to Prof Raymond Auerbach (Agricultural Management, George Campus) 

for winning the R10 000 for the George Campus Food Security Project's story.

His 10-line summary of this ongoing project was recognised for its combination of clarity and creativeness in telling the project's story; the involvement of a wide spectrum of internal and external communities; integrated Teaching, Research and Engagement work and its focus on sustainable living (one of NMMU's focus areas). View the downloadable document on the right side of this page for a report on this project and Prof Auerbach and his team's initiatives. Prof Auerbach has also recently been nominated as a Champion of African Ecological Agriculture for consideration during the African Ecological Conference in October 2015 in Lagos, Nigeria.

Eve Stoffels organised a garden competition with the help of NMMU Agro-ecology programme; 56 gardeners participated in 2014  

(Photo: Christine Ridge-Schnaufer)

 

Other projects that received special mention from the competition evaluators and will each receive a R5 000 merit award are:

 

67 Hours

(Ms Kim Elliot, Student Governance)

Kim Elliott From the  Department of Student Governance and Development, Michelle Bonke, 3rd year student from the Faculty of Arts who is also an intern for the Unity in Africa Foundation and Andile Keke, 2nd Year, IT student

 

PasSport to Health

(Prof Cheryl Walter, Human Movement Science)

 

Pay-it-Forward

(Dr Amanda Werner and Ms Bridget de Villiers, HR Management)

The 2015 Pay-it-Forward Human Resources student cohort.

 

Women in Engineering Leadership Association

(Dr Ann Lourens, Industrial Engineering)


merSETA together with NMMU initiated the WELA programme with the aims of empowering young female engineering students at the institution,

promoting and developing women into this field and to market it as a desirable career opportunity for women. Pictured above is the 2014 cohort of WELA.

 

First Lego League

(Mr Ronald Leppan, Information Technology)

Mr Ronald Leppan with students from Seyisi Primary School and Alexander Road High School.

 

These are the stories that were told by NMMU Engagement project leaders:

Project name

Faculty/department

Project leader

Young Artists Development Programme

Arts & Culture

Mr Michael Barry

The St Thomas art Programme is an in- school art education programme based in Nelson Mandela Bay.  It is an on-going, off campus project funded by local and provincial structures. The project currently employs three experienced, skilled facilitators to teach an integrated DOE art curriculum to previously disadvantaged learners at the St Thomas High School in the Northern Areas, helping them to develop artistic skills. The curriculum includes Drama and Visual Art and is integrated with the St Thomas School timetable. The project began in 2012 and responds to the concerns voiced by members of the community about the lack of teaching of Drama and Visual Art in the current curriculum. St Thomas cannot offer these subjects because of a lack of teachers.  Equipping learners with a sense of their own emerging technical competence and critical ability with an awareness of opportunities in the field will significantly increase the chances that more learners from such communities will bring their talents and energy to the South African visual arts sector.  The project enriches scholarship and creative activity.

The Birth of Ukhanyo Clinic

Psychology Clinic Missionvale

Dr Jennifer Jansen

The Psychology Department has started an initiative on the Missionvale Campus to assist clients who are unable to afford psychological services.  The children and adults living in this area do not have funding for psychological services, and the Department of Education has not created a single post for therapists and psychologists in Port Elizabeth. Consequently no support exists in schools for learners, parents and  teachers. In the light of this plight, the Ukhanyo Clinic became active last year with a staff member and rotating interns, registered counsellors and social workers in an attempt to address psychological difficulties experienced by this poor community together with Missionvale Care Centre. Charging R75 00 we managed to assist 130 clients. This clinic has now expanded, and together with  together with Walter Sisulu University the clinic has started a weekly psychiatric clinic at the Okhanyo Community Clinic. This clinic operates one a week. Our main focus is to train students in both in the realities of the real world and not only give them classroom experience.

Mathawe Themba Day Care

Architectural Technology and Interior Design

Ms Chanelle Edgar

There is a great basic need for day care centers in Walmer Township that look after children from babies to preschoolers while parents are working.

I engaged with two such needy centers and established what their needs were and how best we could assist them. As a lecturer I engaged my second year students to collect funds, toys, books, clothing and food as donations but also to spend time in painting, making furniture, curtains, mattresses and blankets. We are committed to assist these centers for the academic year.

Our first implementation was done during April holidays as the students’ academic program is quite full. We implemented a classroom, fit vinyl flooring, painted the façade, built small tables and chairs as well as cleaned up the play area and fitted astro turf. The children now have a colourful space that supports learning and play, blankets and mattresses for nap times, as well as essential learning tools such as stationery, puzzles and posters stored in shelving made by our students. The children now have ergonomic seating and tables that double up as a place to eat lunch and the table tops are also chalkboards to do artwork. The second year students maintain they benefited the most from this engagement as it opened their eyes to the real need in society and that resources exist to supply those needs, it just needs an implementer! The project strengthened our sense of civic responsibility, working for the public good while being creative and learning basic skills and promoting NMMU core functions and values.

67 Hours Project

Student Governance and Development

Ms Kim Elliot

Working from the principle of the name of the institution “Nelson Mandela” and expanding on 67 minutes held annually across the country, students are encouraged to accomplish 67 hours of volunteer work. In partnership with Unity in Africa Foundation (UinA), a Public Benefits Organisation (PBO), NMMU students sign up for a number of different volunteer opportunities at the Eastern Province Child and Youth Centre, Maranatha, Ikhamva and Esinelitha Early Childhood Development Centres, Heatherbank Primary School, Bathandwa's Homework Club and Love Story Organisation.  Activities range from homework support, English and Mathematics literacy classes, sports coaching and self-development activities. Promoting compassionate and responsible citizenship, in 2014 a total of 295 students committed 5064 hours.  In the first semester of 2015, 173 students have already volunteered their time.

Pay-it-Forward

Human Resources Management

Ms Bridget de Villiers &

Dr Amanda Werner

Care, concern and compassion should dwell in abundance in the hearts of all who call South Africa their home.  In nurturing these positive attributes our second year HRM students engage in community outreach initiatives of their own choice.  We refer to this as their “Pay-it-Forward” initiative.  It is essential that our students identify within themselves how they can make a positive difference in the lives of those less fortunate.  From hosting homework clubs and extra lessons for pupils at disadvantaged schools to offering their services at children’s’ and retirement homes, HIV/Aids havens, mental care facilities, and safe havens for abused women and children, these students have benefitted immensely through this opportunity to express the NMMU value of Ubuntu and develop positive citizenship behaviour.  The students work in their own time and from their own budgets.  In some instances these students are themselves dependent on the support, financial and otherwise, of others and so the plight of those in need often strikes a deep to the core of “oneness”.  In addition, the commitment of our students is evidenced by their willingness to overcome personal barriers such as a lack of finances and transport, sometimes walking many kilometres to reach their destinations, and even completing affidavits with SAPS to obtain clearance to certain institutions. These students are regarded as role models to others.  We take great pride in the sincerity with which they undertake the “Pay-it-Forward” initiative.

SLA and MoA with Heritage Entities

Arts & Culture

Mr Michael Barry

Heritage is a contemporary activity with far-reaching effects.  It can be an element of far-sighted urban and regional planning.  It can be the platform for political recognition, a medium for intercultural dialogue, a means of ethical reflection, and the potential basis for local economic development.  It is simultaneously local and particular, global and shared. Heritage is an essential part of the present we live in--and of the future we will build. The Department of Arts and Culture understands the active role heritage can play in the holistic development of students. Heritage is, or should be, the subject of active public reflection, debate, and discussion.  The department of arts and culture co-hosted a very successful Heritage Conference at the Missionvale Campus. The conference discussed issues relating to Heritage and Memorialisation. Well known heritage practitioners and researchers from across SA presented papers at the conference. The NMMU Archives Dept, with whom Arts and Culture collaborates, has materials available for outreach activities.

George Campus Food Security Project

Agriculture Management

Prof Raymond Auerbach

It took me three years to get permission, funding and construction of a permaculture centre.

It took R5000 of my hard-won research funds to put up a prize for a gardens competition.

It took one amazing woman, Aunty Eve Stoffels, to make that competition go viral.

It took the support of twenty local women and the George Herald to make gardening cool!

…and then the NRF funded a Centre of Excellence for Food Security and AgriParks;

…and then George & Eden Municipalities said “we want a green economy – let’s do this”!

…and then our president said “we need 27 AgriParks in the country; here is some money”!

…and then the NRF and DAFF said “you have learned from African best practice – tell us about it”!

So now we have food gardens all around George, and I have doctoral students all around Africa.

…and we have long-term research trials on George Campus and six masters students doing it!

Disability Lap Tables

Tourism

Mr Gary Fisher

Due to my own disability of hearing impairment, it awoke a passion in me to assist the student community. I walked into the Auditorium and saw a young lady not been able to write due to the lack of a desk. This is how the need was identified; I have subsequently turned out 12 lap tables for wheel chair students at 2nd Ave campus and Missionvale. These are produced and distributed by me. The lap tables are hand made using laminated floor boards. This is an ongoing project as each year as new students arrive, I hand out lap tables. Furthermore, I ensure that all classrooms at 2nd Ave are equipped with custom made desks for all students. I also sponsored a bag and crutch for a student who suffers from cerebral palsy, and have bought two magnifying glasses for two visually impaired students. I assisted in the revision of the NMMU Disability Policy.

Blended Learning

Tourism

Mr Gary Fisher

In 2011 the call went out to all academics to be involved in blended learning. The call is reinforced in Vision 2020. November 2011 I attended my first introduction to Moodle training, since then I have attended many. Out of all the tools I embraced Moodle and introduced it to all the modules I teach. My dedication was rewarded in 2013 with a commendation award from the Teaching and learning committee of the Faculty of BES. This initiative has enriched all my students to such a degree that currently my throughput rate/ pass rate for all my modules since 2012 stands on an average of 95% plus. I have also been instrumental in inspiring others in the department to also become involved in blended learning. Furthermore, I am currently taking Moodle to the next level as I would like to introduce on-line assessments for our generic first year.

Municipal Training Programmes

Law

Prof Hennie van As

In 2012 the Office of the Premier (Western Cape) with whom the Centre for Law (CLA) in Action of the Law Faculty has had a relationship for the past 10 years requested the Western Cape Department of Local Government (WC) and CLA to identify issues that prevent municipal councils from functioning properly. A project team consisting of representatives from the two departments and CLA was set up and funding was obtained from the Hanns Seidel Foundation which is based in Germany. A number of topics, nine in all, including the Constitutional mandate of local government, the role of councillors in procurement, ethics and corruption, oversight, delegation of powers, councillor discipline and the rules of procedure were identified.  Training materials were developed and short learning programmes were registered and presented in 29 of the 30 municipalities in the Western Cape.  The purpose of the programme is to enable municipalities to, irrespective of the ruling political party, function optimally and in compliance with the Constitution and other local government legislation.  Workshops were offered at different locations in the Western Cape over a period of two years, using facilitators that were trained and approved by the project team and the FMC of the faculty.  A representative from the Office of the Premier is on record as stating that it is believed that these interventions contributed directly to the fact that all municipalities in that province received “clean” audits from the Auditor General.  A letter, thanking CLA for its contribution towards effective governance, was also received from the MEC for Local Government earlier this year. This engagement activity is a good example of the application and sharing of the university’s knowledge and resources with the broader community which effectively strengthened democratic values and civic responsibility and contributed to the public good through more effective service delivery.

NMMU-FamHealth Youth Leadership Academy

Center for Community Technologies

Prof Darelle van Greunen

With the promise of bringing about change in the lives of young people who battle drugs and gangs in a society with little hope, the Youth Leadership Academy (YLA) was established in the Northern Areas of Port Elizabeth as a partnership between NMMU and FamHealth in 2012.  The YLA inspires, trains and supports young South African leaders taking action on the most urgent social issues in their communities. The YLA Program is aimed at Grade 11 students in the Northern Areas.

They receive skills development training and practical experience designing, initiating and implementing the development of their leadership skills to enable them to take social action that tackles a social issue in their community. Amber Fredericks, a 2015 participant says, “This programme is changing our lives and the lives of those around us.”

Northville/NMMU Madibaz Cricket Outreach Project

Madibaz Sport

Mr Riaan Osman

The Mecer Madibaz Cricket Club initiated a partnership with Northville cricket club in 2010 as part of their engagement with the community. The essence of the project was to enter into a sustainable partnership with specific emphasis on capacity building and providing resources to assist the club from an operation point of view. NMMU provide a coach 1 x week in season, cover the cost annually for 3 x coaches from Northville to attend a Level One coaching course, provide fields at no charge and also donate cricket equipment to the Northville cricket club. The reason to enter into the partnership was to ensure the club had an ongoing pipeline of talented players to select from and also to ensure the club produces coaches from within the community that could sustain the club.

Fundraiser for the Protea Home of Safety

Dietetics

Ms Berta du Toit

Protea Home of Safety provides temporary accommodation to children that have been removed from their parents as result of domestic violence. This Centre receives a small budget each year for Sport and Recreation and the funding allocated was used to repair a broken geyser and toilet. The fundraiser was incorporated into a second year assignment to raise funds for the Centre. A total of R7 559.96 was raised. A variety of items such as paint for creative activities were purchased, according to the needs of the Centre. A long-term vision will be established in order to assist this Centre on an ongoing basis every year as the Centre’s resources are limited and extreme challenges exists due to the limited resources. The items purchased were handed over to the children in June 2015 at the Centre. The project contributed to public good, enhanced teaching and learning and strengthened the student’s democratic values and civic responsibility.

Drive to Success

Industrial Engineering

Dr Ann Lourens

Drive to Success is an interactive game designed to support prospective students, teachers, parents, mentors and communities in their exploration of STEM careers and to assist them in making the right choice of study. It contributes to addressing the significant shortage of women in STEM fields not only in Port Elizabeth, but South Africa as a whole. In addition, Drive to Success will assist both male and female students in selecting suitable STEM fields of study that matches their personality, strengths and interests. This game uses a contextualized approach to engage, educate, and support individuals exploring study options and those who are involved or concerned with assisting prospective students, such as high school learners, with making career choices and study course selections. Customising STEM career education through this online game creates a relevant and motivational learning experience for high school learners and their mentors, teachers, parents etc and should also have a major impact on improving students numbers and throughput rate as learners have made informed choices. Drive to Success, in partnership with WELA and the Centre for Community Technology, places NMMU at the forefront of promotion and strategic marketing technology.

Women in Engineering Leadership Academy (wela)

Industrial Engineering

Dr Ann Lourens

WELA is one of the five projects sponsored by the merSETA and overseen by the Chair of Engineering Development. Overall, the Chair benefits the Eastern Cape industry, schools, learners, and in the case of WELA – current and future women in the engineering field. There was and still is no blue print for developing a women in engineering leadership programme, and we are still making the road as we go along. Over time, several people across various departments and disciplines gave input and made a contribution to the development of the programme, which is now a registered short learning programme, called the WELA Leadership Development Course. WELA‘s goals are to attract girls to the field of engineering, and to support and develop women studying and working in the field. The project was initiated in 2011 and is ongoing. For NOW, WELA’s main focus is women engineering students studying in any of the five engineering disciplines at NMMU. WELA has made contribution to women engineering students’ personal and professional development, resulted in several cross departmental initiatives, and various internal and external collaborations. Most importantly… WELA has made a difference to the lives of NMMU’s women engineering students.

DASH (Disease Activity and Schoolchildren’s Health)

Human Movement Science

Prof Cheryl Walter

Final year Human Movement Science students, put theory into practice, and are challenged to promote physical activity and school sport at disadvantaged schools in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro. Students do needs analyses, research interventions and tailor them to context and schools’ needs, present ideas to school staff, then implement interventions in partnership with schools. Students are guided through funding proposal writing, fundraising and implementation through project management processes: planning, organizing, leading, teamwork and reporting. Initiated in 2010, and benefitting three schools annually, this project responds to recent South African research showing increases in levels of overweight, obesity and inactivity among children, a proponent for hyperkinetic diseases which could be avoided through healthy active lifestyles inculcated from an early age. The project transforms schools’ playgrounds, gets children moving while having fun, enables students to problem solve and learn through doing, inculcates values, whilst contributing to research in the field.

Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP)

Political and Conflict Studies

Ms Shena Lamb-du Plessis & Prof Lynn Snodgrass

The experiential conflict resolution programme known as the Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP) understands that conflict is natural but that it is possible to deal with potentially violent situations in new and creative ways. Operating in South Africa since 1995, AVP began in a New York prison in 1975 in response to a request for help from the inmates and has since spread to 60 countries as it easily adapts to different cultural situations.  At NMMU Prof Lyn Snodgrass of the Political and Conflict Studies Department has supported AVP research projects since 2006 and nonviolent approaches are included in the conflict transformation and management modules. The AVP Engagement Project will showcase AVP to all NMMU staff and students at a colloquium of AVP facilitators which will also strengthen AVP’s national network and its links in Africa and abroad.

PasSPORT to Health

Human Movement Science

Prof Cheryl Walter

Final year Human Movement Science students, put theory into practice, and are challenged to promote physical activity and school sport at disadvantaged schools in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro. Students do needs analyses, research interventions and tailor them to context and schools’ needs, present ideas to school staff, then implement interventions in partnership with schools. Students are guided through funding proposal writing, fundraising and implementation through project management processes: planning, organizing, leading, teamwork and reporting. Initiated in 2010, and benefitting three schools annually, this project responds to recent South African research showing increases in levels of overweight, obesity and inactivity among children, a proponent for hyperkinetic diseases which could be avoided through healthy active lifestyles inculcated from an early age. The project transforms schools’ playgrounds, gets children moving while having fun, enables students to problem solve and learn through doing, inculcates values, whilst contributing to research in the field.

Sustainable Research Unit

Sustainable Research Unit Engagement

Prof Christo Fabricius

To us (the Sustainability Research Unit), being sustainability scientists is a way of life. It has many joys but also requires sacrifices and, above all, comes with responsibilities. Engagement, integral to sustainability, fits all three these categories. Joys, because what can be more satisfying than facilitating a dialogue between farmers, conservationists, township residents and retired businessmen, and seeing how they begin to find common ground before the morning is over? Sacrifices, because to engage properly and build trust with stakeholders, we have to often connect with them in the evenings and over weekends, quietly attend their meetings, assist them with funding proposals, visit their places of work and exchange knowledge them.  A responsibility because we have an ethical duty to be accountable to our community, our funders and fellow scientists. Therefore we publish all our engagement work in journals and books and on our web site and blog. Because the funding that fuels our academic lifestyle is not ours: we are merely borrowing it from present and future generations to help create a better life for all.

NMMU Toastmasters Society Literacy Project

Student Governance

Ms Louise Solomons

The greatest gift that one can give is your time and presence, and it is with these two gifts that we embarked on our own engagement journey to help those who will one day lead our great nation.

We thought long and hard on which of our skills and knowledge we could use to serve those in our communities and seeing as the Annual National Assessment Test (ANA) identified reading and writing as a critical development skill, our engagement focus shifted to assisting learners at the foundation and intermediate levels. We developed a literacy project for primary schools, where we could share our skills and knowledge as well as contribute not only through a donation, but also by helping teachers ignite a love of reading within these children. We could not have done this alone and with the assistance of SASOL, as part of their Corporate Social Initiative, came through with a donation of R15 000. Their only request was that we should approach schools close to a SASOL service station and that is how we nominated Vukani Bantu Primary School in Motherwell and Adolph Schauder Primary School in Korsten. In 2014, we donated reading books to all the grade 5 learners of Vukani Bantu Primary School and in 2015, we donated a data projector to Adolph Schauder Primary School to assist with their literacy activities. Madiba said:  “Education is the most powerful weapon to change the world” - and we agree. We closely work with these schools and assist them with their reading and writing projects to ensure the future leaders of tomorrow understands and appreciates the value of the written word. This is also in line with NMMU’s engagement agenda because, like our name sake, we believe through reading, literacy, knowledge and education, we can save our nation!

Miracle of Hope Train

Drug Utilizaton Research Unit

Prof Ilse Truter

Hope … “to wish for something with expectation”.  This is what thousands of South Africans are doing.  They hope for just an eye to look at the rash on their hands, an ear to listen to their mental pain, a hand to touch them.  They hope to receive the most basic of health care, something that should be freely available to all in South Africa.  Twenty-one years ago the tracks of a miracle train have crossed our educational footsteps - the Transnet-Phelophepa Health Care Train.  It touched NMMU’s heart and became part of our journey.  Phelophepa not only provides much needed primary health care services in rural South Africa, but changes students’ outlook on their training as health care professionals, teaching them that they can make a difference.  The greatest lesson of Phelophepa is that where there is hope, there is faith, and faith makes miracles happen!

ESKOM Expo for Young Scientist

Education

Ms Marilyn Gibbs

As there is a shortage of skills in the research and STEMI fields, the innovative and inquiry based thinking required for participation in the Expo for Young Scientists, motivates and inspires our young scientists to think and discover “out of the textbook thinking”.  Learners from Grad 6-12 are afforded the opportunity to present their research work in project boards and interviews at the Expo and may get the opportunity to attend International Science Fairs, in Africa, America and Europe. As the Regional Director of an inter-disciplinary team of volunteers, for the love of science, we conduct educator workshops in science method and judge’s workshops in assessing projects, as well as coaching and mentoring our young scientists in their project upgrades. The Regional Expo event is held in August every year at the NMMU Indoor Sports Centre, which requires website entries from over 50 schools (40-50% PDI) and organising of over 100 judges, over 450 learners and 350 projects.  We are also involved in assisting with District, Mini and School Science Club Expos, at various schools in partnership with the Department of Education. It increases inquiry based teaching and learning, strengthens networking across all stakeholders, enhances sustainability and corporate social responsibility, and provides innovative passionate young scientists and engineers for the sustainability of our beautiful Eastern Cape region and beyond.

Accounting Winter School

Accounting

Ms Ansulene Prinsloo

10 NMMU Accounting lecturers, 900 Grade 11 and 12 learners, 50 Accounting Student Tutors worked together in the three Winter Schools run in the July 2015 holidays [two for grade 12 (in PE and George) and one for grade 11] – with the primary aim of assisting participating learners to improve their performance in Accounting. Through sponsorships from Deloitte, PwC and Investec, these Schools could be offered at affordable rates. In addition to formal teaching and learning in Accounting, the Schools incorporated informative talks, build friendships, eradicated racial boundaries, and created networking opportunities. The Grade 12 School hosted an NMMU 10 year birthday party, and the Grade 11 School had a “Future in Focus” theme. The success of the Schools is evidenced by 159 learners who attended the grade 12 School in 2014 registering at NMMU in 2015, and 53% of learners improved their grade 12 Accounting marks.

School at Home Winter School

Social Development Professions

Dr Veonna Goliath

An interdisciplinary, positive youth development project emerged from a church initiative, implemented in 2011 for grade 10 and 11 learners from the Northern Areas. Initially aimed at improving school success, the project, now in its 5th year, contribute to community transformation and strengthen civic responsibility and social sustainability. Community based, educational tutoring is provided by education students, life skills by social work students; prosocial peer influence, demonstrated by selected adolescent peers; a visionary approach is prompted through career development engagements, facilitated by Psychology students; and a visit to NMMU for input on study options. Positive community identity and social cohesion is ignited and ongoing parenting workshops are facilitated by myself.  An appreciation ceremony, witnessed by parents’ affirms the learners’ worth. NAPDI and community members provide essential funding.

PinnAcle Leadership Programme

Accounting

Ms Elize Naude

HOW can we use various forms of engagement to enhance the academic performance of NMMU's top students? This was the question that sparked NMMU's PinnAcle Leadership Programme, an initiative that is unique among South African universities. PinnAcle shifts traditional thinking related to "student development" in two ways: Firstly, it uses engagement to enhance academic results (rather than just focusing on "academic support" per se) and, secondly, it focuses on top-performing scholars (and not "at risk" students, who are typically targeted for student development). The project started in 2012 in the School of Accounting, initially focusing on students within the Vice­ Chancellor's Scholarship programme, a unique bursary scheme (for top-performing matrics entering NMMU) which had begun two years earlier. It was later extended to Vice-Chancellor's Scholars in all faculties. In 2015, it was re-launched as the PinnAcle Leadership Programme for top performers within the School of Accounting, from first-year to Honours students. It currently includes 80 students. The project aims at ensuring consistent cum laude performances from top students via a structured mentoring process, while also contributing to their holistic development (to help nurture their potential as current and future leaders) through engagement activities related to leadership, social responsibility, professional development and internationalisation, which are embedded into the overall programme. Leadership development- where they are given the opportunity to interact with South Africa's top leaders (which have included the likes of Santie Botha and Brand Pretorius) - occurs mostly on campus; professional development takes place at various business sites; opportunities for studies abroad have been created in Europe; and social responsibility projects (some initiated by the students themselves) have benefitted a number of NGOs in the Nelson Mandela Bay metro. Sponsorships for the programme were secured from the African Unity Foundation and various Accounting firms, along with Teaching Development funds from the Department of Higher Education and Training, and funding from the School of Accounting itself.

The success of the project- which was awarded the NMMU Engagement Excellence Award for 2015-can be measured in various ways:

•  Exceptional academic results: School of Accounting candidates achieved the best results in South Africa in 2015, with two students placing among the top 10 in the national South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) board examination.

•   Publications: The programme was showcased in two popular internal publications featuring student leadership and engagement (these were released at the five-year VCS celebrations)

•   Delivery of well-rounded future leaders with a sense of community responsibility

•   The founding of a VCS alumni chapter that is raising funds for student bursaries

•   Consistent positive media exposure for NMMU

But, perhaps most significantly, the PinnAcle Leadership Programme helps to create a mind-set for utilising engagement to give life to excellence and ubuntu, two of NMMU's core values.

Green Campus Initiative

Student Governance

Ms Karen Snyman

One of NMMU’s values is respect for the environment and GCI has been practicing this very well at the institution.  While one of the GCI society members were completing her practical’s at a school in Zwide, she noticed that there was a need for introducing the “Go- Green” concept at schools. The GCI committee made contact with five schools in the PE area, one in Summerstrand, Motherwell, Zwide and New Brighton. This project was started late last year with the help of a R15000 sponsorship from Sasol Oil, where bins were delivered to the schools. The society also designed and printed educational posters for the schools to teach them about “going green” and delivered talks to grades 8-12 learners.  This is an ongoing project, as the society plans to purchase can crushers for the five schools- that would not only encourage recycling but also assist the school with generating a little income.

Construction Management Student Society

Student Governance

Ms Karen Snyman

The Construction Management Student Society (CMSS) together with the dept. the Built Environment and  the Quantity Surveying Student Society  joined hands to contribute to the NMMU value of Ubuntu by raising funds and providing aid to Charles Duna Primary School in New Brighton. The funds are used to improve the school in more ways than one and bridge the gap between basic and higher level education. Throughout the academic year the CMSS hosts events which raise funds that help meet it’s objective of raising enough funds to procure materials for renovations/improvements of the school including paint for walls, new swings for the swing structure and outdoor benches using storage pallets. The ultimate aim for the CMSS would be to provide the Primary School with a new classroom structure.

Golden Key Society Tutoring Programme

Student Governance

Ms Karen Snyman

The Eastern Cape Province annually yields one of the lowest pass rates for the National Senior Certificate exams. So for Golden Key Society, it was no question when the Coega Development Corporation approached them to partner on its “Maths, Science and English Flagship Programme”. This programme is aimed at assisting high risk grade 12 scholars from previously disadvantaged schools. Our role was to provide tutors to go out to schools within the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan townships on Saturday mornings from 09:00 – 13:00 to present classes and one-on-one tutoring. It was so successful that we organised a winter school from 29 June – 10 July 2015. Ten NMMU students went out to provide tutoring in the Motherwell and Kwanobuhle area. The Success of this project was invaluable as learners were able to engage with students from university as well as with engineers from the Coega Development Corporation. The assistance provided will definitely go a long way in ensuring the continued success for the fight for quality education in the Eastern Cape.

Embo Movement Tutoring Project

Student Governance

Ms Karen Snyman

For the past few years student volunteers consisting of students from the Missionvale Campus have identified the need to assist Grade 11 and 12 learners in the surrounding township schools with tutoring in problematic school subjects: Maths, Science and English- This resulted in the establishment of Embo Movement Society a society who offers tutoring to Grade 11 and 12 learners every weekend at the Missionvale Campus. The society aims at empowering the youth in the surrounding areas not only with academic tutoring, but have also expanded their programme to include health and wellness, sport and arts and culture to enhance the life skills of learners. This program runs every Saturday and Sunday at the Missionvale Campus and on average 50 learners from surrounding New Brighton and Wide schools attend.  The students run the society on a concept of volunteerism and contribute strongly to the NMMU of Ubuntu.

First Lego League

Information Technology

Mr Ronald Leppan

Through internal funding, FLL at NMMU was initiated by School of ICT staff and students who mentor learners aged 9-16 for participation in the annual FLL challenge. Mentors and external sponsors are currently being sought for teams and events. The NMMU School of ICT staff and students train learners along with their adult coaches to participate in the annual FLL challenge, in addition to coordinating and hosting the Eastern Cape Regional Qualifying FLL Tournament. NMMU hosted the inaugural Eastern Cape FLL competition in 2013 and the project is ongoing. Training takes place in the Lego Robotics lab of the School of ICT and the competition is held annually at the Vodacom Indoor Sport Centre. How the FLL project is making a contribution to NMMU's Engagement agenda: FLL creates opportunities for undergraduate IT projects, postgraduate research and external consulting. FLL creates opportunities for teachers to incorporate Lego Robotics in the classroom. FLL creates opportunities for university staff and students to engage as mentors to a diverse range of learners from different backgrounds. Community outreach is a key aspect of the research project component of the FLL Challenge. FLL introduces learners to scarce skills disciplines of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

 

Contact information
Dr Belinda Du Plooy
Manager: Engagement
Tel: 27 41 504 3083
Belinda.duPlooy@nmmu.ac.za

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