Programme to give UCT graduates an edge

06 August 2010 | Story by Newsroom

Prof Jo Beal & MpumiGlobal perspective: DVC Prof Jo Beall shares ideas with student Mpumi Tshabalala during the launch of the UCT Global Citizenship: Leading for Social Justice programme.

UCT has launched an extra-curricula pilot programme that will, hopefully, set graduates apart and distinguish them as "hot property" - in the words of vice-chancellor, Dr Max Price - in the marketplace.

Called UCT Global Citizenship: Leading for Social Justice, the Centre for Higher Education Development-based programme provides students with an opportunity to engage with current issues and debates on global citizenship, leadership and social justice, and critically reflect on voluntary community service experiences. The programme stems from the university's commitment to enhance graduate attributes by encouraging them to think critically about problems facing the country, the continent and the world, and to respond accordingly.

At the launch of the programme on 4 August, vice-chancellor, Dr Max Price, noted that UCT intends to produce graduates who understand social justice, have an ethos of volunteerism, and who have a rounded education.

"If we can get as many graduates to be exposed that way, then we will make them distinctive," Price explained.

Deputy vice-chancellor Professor Jo Beall said the programme forms part of the university's strategic goal on internationalisation, and it would be ideal for every curriculum to incorporate both global perspectives and service learning components. Beall added that UCT is concerned about students' roles in addressing social justice, and wants them to move from mere rhetoric or web chatter to action.

The pilot phase of the programme, which is designed as a combination of online and group work, runs through the second semester. Students can opt to register for Part 1 (Global Debates, Local Voices) or Part 2 (Thinking about Volunteering) or both.

While not credit-bearing, the programme is recognised on students' academic transcripts as a UCT short course. The course is free for students as fees are covered by the Vice-Chancellor's Fund.

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