24 May 2024 | Story Leonie Bolleurs | Photo Supplied
EDP Graduates 2024
The graduation ceremony of the recent intake of Executive Development Programme (EDP) graduates.

The Department of Public Administration and Management, in partnership with the Business School at the University of the Free State (UFS), recently celebrated another highlight with the graduation ceremony of the Executive Development Programme (EDP), presented in collaboration with the National School of Government (NSG)

The 77 graduates who received their well-earned qualifications represented several government departments in Gauteng, the Free State, and KwaZulu-Natal. These departments include the Civilian Secretariat for Police; the Secretariat for Safety and Security; the Department of Education; the Independent Police Investigative Directorate; the Department of Water and Sanitation; the Department of Correctional Services; and the Department of Employment and Labour.

Quality education and training for public servants

Prof Brownhilder Neneh, Vice-Dean: Research Engagement and Internationalisation in the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, welcomed the graduates, stating that this event marks a significant milestone – an occasion to celebrate the academic achievements of the graduates and to acknowledge their dedication and hard work.

“The UFS and the NSG have established a fruitful partnership that aims to provide quality education and training to public servants across various fields and disciplines in line with the government’s commitment to creating a capable, ethical, and developmental public service,” said Prof Neneh.

She thanked the graduates for embracing the value of education. “A capable state empowered by well-trained, ethical public servants and senior management is a powerful weapon in the fight against corruption, misconduct, and maladministration,” she remarked. 

Emphasising the importance of their achievements, she said, “With the new knowledge and skills you've acquired, South Africa looks to you as change makers and implementers of good governance. Your role in shaping the future of South Africa is pivotal, and your dedication to excellence will undoubtedly contribute to the advancement of the South African economy.”

During the ceremony, Prof Liezel Lues, a key role player in the partnership between the UFS and the NSG, acted as the programme director, and Dr Maréve Biljohn (Head of Department: Public Administration and Management) issued the certificates to the graduates.

Transition into senior managerial roles

According to Adele Kotzé, Marketing Manager at the UFS Business School, the EDP – which started in 2020 – is an eight-month programme covering various management topics. The six core themes are Strategic Planning and Management; Financial Management and Budgeting; Strategic Human Resource Management; Leadership for Good Governance; Policy Formulation and Implementation; and Programme and Project Management.

During the training interventions, participants are assisted in developing leadership capacity and transitioning into senior managerial roles, enabling them to meet daily challenges and opportunities, distinguish themselves from competitors, and achieve higher performance.

Bringing about positive change

“We aim to bring about positive change in the departments and work environments of the graduates. The programme further aims to bridge the gap between theory and practice by ensuring that participants can apply what they have learned in their respective work environments,” said Kotzé. 

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