The University of Zululand (UNIZULU) recently hosted its Vice-Chancellor’s Excellence in Teaching and Learning Awards at the Umfolozi Casino and Convention Centre.
The awards aim to promote, acknowledge and encourage continued excellence in teaching and learning. To achieve this, special recognition is given to academics acclaimed for their teaching practice and who have demonstrated outstanding teaching outcomes and have made a broad and deep contribution to enhancing the quality of learning and teaching at the university.
In his opening remarks, Professor Mahlomaholo Mahlomaholo, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Teaching and Learning, highlighted that the quality of portfolios that were received was high and that it was not an easy task to choose the winners. “This is the core of what the institution is about. I was very impressed looking at the processes that were embarked upon to ensure that the people that are going to be awarded the prizes are of very high quality. We can be very proud colleagues that we are doing quality work,” he said.
The front-runners were Prof Khoboso Lehloenya, from the Department of Agriculture, who was recognised for being a distinguished academic; Dr Neil Evans, from the Department of Information Studies, whose recognition was for being a developed academic; and Dr Mabutho Sibanda, from the Department of Agriculture, who was named an emerging academic. The recipients each received a generous amount, a third of which will be for personal use while the remainder is intended for the enhancement of their teaching, research, innovation and community engagement activities.
Candidates were either self-nominated or nominated by peers or students. They each submitted teaching portfolios that articulated their teaching philosophies based on the teaching and learning practices guided by particular teaching theories, assessment methods and curriculum development.
UNIZULU Vice-Chancellor Professor Xoliswa Mtose, in her closing remarks, said: “The winners for this year’s awards have made the entire university proud. May you continue to uphold the ethos that the university is trying so hard to nurture. The university has set itself very high standards. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate you for all the hard work that you have done. These accolades are a symbol of recognition of hard work and dedication of our staff members.”
She concluded by saying that it was only through the outstanding work of the nominated academics that an exceptional university can be created.
- Precious Shamase
The winners of the Vice-Chancellor’s Excellence in Teaching and Learning Awards. From left: Dr Mabutho Sibanda and Prof Khoboso Lehloenya from the Department of Agriculture as well as Dr Neil Evans from the Department of Information Studies.