Leadership programme spot on

04 August 2011 | Story by Newsroom

meeting delegatesTaking stock: Among those who attended the talk by Stella Kyobula-Mukoza (front) on the Emerging Student Leaders Programme were (from left) Cathy Sims of Career Service, Edwina Brooks and Jerome September of the DSA, and Dr Suki Goodman.

UCT's Emerging Student Leaders Programme (ESLP) is a "brilliant" initiative that has largely been rolled out as intended, and should be continued. However, the programme lacks certain components such as self-assessment, community involvement and experiential activities because it spans such a short period of time, and needs to be lengthened.

So said MPhil graduate in programme evaluation,Stella Kyobula-Mukoza, in her seminar, A Formative Evaluation of UCT's Emerging Student Leaders Programme, hosted by the Department: Student Affairs on 19 July.

The week-long ESLP was developed in 2008 and implemented a year later to enhance students' leadership skills, on the understanding that after graduation, they will be entrusted with leadership positions across all sectors of society. The programme promotes values of good citizenship, the culture of human rights, sensitivity to the environment, and respect for diversity and difference.

Using both the theory and implementation evaluations, Kyobula-Mukoza, under the supervision of Dr Suki Goodman, head of UCT's Department of Organisational Psychology, investigated whether the structure, organisational features and activities of the programme are aligned to established best practice, and whether it was delivered as intended.

According to Kyobula-Mukoza, 90% of international best practices were present and the programme has targeted the intended beneficiaries. Even though communication, presentation and interpersonal skills are acquired through the programme, Kyobula-Mukoza recommended that participants also be equipped with delegation, creative thinking and managing meetings and conflict skills.

"We also propose that journal-writing be integrated into the programme to allow for self-awareness and reflection," Kyobula-Mukoza suggested.

The evaluation was welcomed by staff of the Department: Student Affairs, who assured the audience that they are seriously looking at implementing some of the recommendations.

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