05 May 2022 | Story Leonie Bolleurs | Photo Unsplash
Quantity  Surveying and Construction management
The UFS Department of Quantity Surveying and Construction Management received the stamp of approval from SACQSP when it was fully accredited by this body for its course content.

The Department of Quantity Surveying and Construction Management in the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences at the University of the Free State (UFS) remains a preferred destination for built-environment programmes.
It received full accreditation for the BSc Quantity Surveying Level 7 (undergraduate) and the BSc Quantity Surveying Level 8 (honours degree) from the South African Council for the Quantity Surveying Profession (SACQSP) for the period 2018-2022.

The Head of Department, Prof Kahilu Kajimo-Shakantu, says: “This is not only a validation that we are meeting and exceeding the minimum requirements set by SACQSP, but that as one of only five tertiary institutions offering degree courses with full accreditation in the country, we compete and are counted among the best of the best.”

She believes it is extremely important for the Department of Quantity Surveying and Construction Management to maintain its accreditation. The next accreditation visit is scheduled for 29 July 2022 for accreditation for the period 2023-2027. 

According to Pierre Oosthuizen, Lecturer in the department, both their residential and compact (formally distance) contact learning programmes – bachelor’s and honours degrees – received full accreditation. 

This achievement is also in line with the department’s vision of constantly striving to attain the highest level of quality and credibility; to always reflect an image of established principles in science practice. 

Valuable and accepted qualification

Oosthuizen continues, saying: “The main goal of the Quantity Surveying programme is to prepare competent and industry-ready professional candidates. With this stamp of approval from SACQSP, we are giving prospective and current students the assurance that the degrees presented by our department are recognised by the South African built environment as a relevant, valuable, and accepted qualification for the profession.”

“Graduates from accredited institutions also have a better chance of getting employment, and they can register as candidates with the council to become professional quantity surveyors,” adds Prof Kajimo-Shakantu.

Receiving accreditation for its degrees, the department improves its standing among peer institutions and industry stakeholders. Furthermore, it is in a favourable position to contribute to the South African government’s list of scarce skills with the quantity surveying, construction management, and property-related programmes it offers.

Of the most popular modules presented by the department is the compact (formally distance) contact learning programmes. These programmes also adhere to the requirements of the South African Qualification Authority (SAQA) and the National Qualification Framework (NQF). 

Oosthuizen states: “Accredited compact (formally distance) contact learning Quantity Surveying programmes are uncommon in South Africa. Our department is proud to have a stellar history of presenting Quantity Surveying programmes over the past 15 years to students who do not have the resources to attend classes on campus or who are working full time in the construction industry.” 

“The department is now also considering alternative entry routes via the UFS extended programme and the recognition of prior learning initiative,” Oosthuizen adds. 

According to Prof Kajimo-Shakantu, the department is also proud of the customised work-integrated learning modules it has introduced in its programme – effective 2021 – giving students better opportunities to link theory with industry/practice. “The value of the BSc programme called Construction Economics and Management (CEM) cannot be overemphasised, because it gives students the core knowledge of both Quantity Surveying and Construction Management. Students can decide which honours to do upon completion of the Quantity Surveying and Construction Management modules, thus helping to prepare the career readiness of our students early in their formative years.”

Allow students to fulfil their dreams

“Professional quantity surveyors play an undeniably crucial role in the construction industry, contributing to the physical, economic, and social environments,” says Oosthuizen. 

Adhering to a list of more than 19 accreditation criteria, including matters related to programme design, academic staffing, programme effectiveness, teaching and learning strategy, student assessment policies and procedures, and its assessment system, the department is fulfilling a valuable role in preparing candidate quantity surveying professionals for the South African and international built environment.

Besides the quality of its course content and processes, the department is also proud of the students it delivers. According to Prof Kajimo-Shakantu, several of their students received national recognition for their academic excellence as well as leadership potential, for example scooping up the prestigious Association of South African Quantity Surveyors (ASAQS) Gold Medal award a few times.

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