05 May 2022 | Story Nonsindiso Qwabe | Photo Supplied
To new beginnings: From the left. Dr Martin Mandew; Dr Molapo Qhobela , and Prof Heidi Hudson mark the opening of the Qwaqwa CGAS.

The Centre for Gender and Africa Studies (CGAS) has expanded its footprint and found what can be described as its ‘natural academic home’ on the Qwaqwa Campus. Over the years, the centre has positioned itself as both an African and gender-focused hub of pedagogical activities and the research agenda. In a move towards solidifying that commitment, the centre announced its presence on the campus on 29 April 2022; for the first time, it will be expanding its programme mix by offering undergraduate programmes to students on this campus.

Speaking at the launch, Prof Heidi Hudson, Dean of the Faculty of the Humanities, described the expansion as a natural one. “This physical space is testimony to the intellectual energy being honed and cultivated. We are one university with niche offerings, and this is the conducive environment and the right space.”

Centre a vehicle for expanding academic aspirations of campus

Dr Grey Magaiza, Deputy Director and Head of CGAS on the Qwaqwa Campus, said CGAS Qwaqwa will bridge the gap by developing and providing a niche of undergraduate programmes such as Tourism and Heritage, as well as Peace and Gender Studies. The Bachelor of Community Development degree will now also be offered in the centre. Furthermore, he said the centre would also be a vehicle for expanding the postgraduate footprint on the campus. “We’re going to gas this place with our intellectual energy, vibrancy, and even our aspirations. We’ve proven that we can turn aspirations into reality. It is an interdisciplinary home, and it is open for everyone; we look forward to important partnerships.”

Dr Martin Mandew, Qwaqwa Campus Principal, said the centre would solidify and differentiate the uniqueness of the campus by offering programmes exclusive to Qwaqwa.

“One of the key things for us has been the resourcing of all these great and wonderful ideas on how we want to differentiate the Qwaqwa Campus programme qualification mix. It is wonderful to see this great dream come into fruition. May CGAS not only inject a new impetus, new enthusiasm, and new life into the Faculty of the Humanities, but this should also permeate, influence, and shape us as a campus.”

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