In line with UNIZULU’s mission which seeks to produce globally competitive graduates relevant to the development needs of the country. The department of Consumer Sciences in the faculty of Science, Agriculture and Engineering in conjunction with Teaching and Learning Centre celebrated student’s academic excellence. This event was held in celebration of brainpower abilities, professional behaviour, leadership, and entrepreneurship. The celebration was aligned to the university strategy 2022-27, a “Node for the African Thought”
According to the Head of Department of Consumer Sciences, Professor Unathi Kolanisi, the department is resolute to be one of the leading departments at the university, they aim to provide a sound learning environment, quality education and career programmes that equip multidimensional graduates to be job creators rather than job seekers, as well as professionals who can fit into any discipline-based industry organisation.
The department believes it takes a tune from Higher education to deliver learning and competencies that are about emancipation of mental, social, psychological, and spiritual well-being, which are expressed at various developmental levels of academia. What was more interesting about these awards were the names, for example eZingalali (Top achievers in modules); Intuthwane (Hardworking student); Aboholi bakusasa (Future leaders); Induna/Indunakazi (All-rounder) etc. “Moreover, we added other categories such as bestowing distinction unto the Work Integrated Learning establishments with which in this case the WIL coordinators nominated the establishment that best supported the vision of the university which in this case was Linzwa Foundation and The Premier Hotel. As the department has been championing Indigenous Knowledge in food innovation, we recognised our Indigenous Knowledge Systems in food experts and supporters of our food exhibitions such as Mr Shandu (Abalimi bakwaDlangezwa), MamakaSIza (MaDlanzini women in farming), the late Gogo Qho, La Fusion Chefs restaurant, Ithala development Bank, and Vodacom. These are the people who have helped us grow and reach even greater heights when it comes to learning with our surroundings. We also acknowledge the various projects that have promoted academic learning through students’ involvement and therefore have themselves developed their skills and attained positive outcomes; we refer to this as the “Best engaging project’. “Explained Prof Kolanisi.
These are community-based projects facilitated by the department where consultant learning approach is applied – students are presented with real life problem to provide solutions promoting authentic learning, such speaks to the required graduate attributes such as being sensitive to the surrounding environments, developing entrepreneurial skills and provides a platform for them to think critically and be able to apply the discipline knowledge to the real-life situations, Also to encourage the value of “Ubuntu” in learning celebrated peer-peer learning, by engaging our students in voting for their peers as means of promoting lifting each other up rather than the pulling him/her down syndrome. It was very nice to see these students from Richards Bay and KwaDlangezwa cheering the successes of one other. The lecturers were touched by the smiles and the joy observed where even students who never trusted themselves, had an academic growth and were recognised and celebrated.
- Precious Shamase & Prof Unathi Kolanisi