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21 May 2019 | Story Igno van Niekerk | Photo Stephen Collett
Digital storytelling
Collaborating for the common good are from left: Willem Ellis, Karen Venter, Dr Deidre van Rooyen, Prof Hendri Kroukamp, Bishop Billyboy Ramahlele, and Dr Johan van Zyl.

Prof Hendri Kroukamp, Dean of the Faculty of Management Sciences quoted the Cat Stevens song I can’t keep it in, to capture the excitement surrounding the opening of a Digital Storytelling Lab on the Bloemfontein Campus on 10 May 2019.

After months of hard work by Dr Deidre van Rooyen, Willem Ellis, Karen Venter, as well as the staff of the University of the Free State’s (UFS) Centre for Development Support, the Common Good First lab was completed just in time for the launch attended by about 50 delegates from other South African universities, as well as private and public institutions.

Stories meet technology

In a message, from Prof Puleng LenkaBula, Vice-Rector: Institutional Change, Student Affairs, and Community Engagement, informed the audience that the launch heralded the joining of the old world of stories with the new world of digital technology. Julie Adair, Director of Digital Collaboration at Glasgow Caledonian University, Scotland, welcomed the UFS as a partner to this international social innovation collaborative project in a video message. 

Dr Van Rooyen, the project manager for the UFS, explained how she got involved in the Common Good First project, what the benefits of digital storytelling are, as well as what opportunities the lab creates for cooperation between role players involved in social innovation projects. 

Why the Common Good First lab?

The purpose of the lab is to create a digital network to identify, showcase and connect social innovation projects in South Africa to one another and to universities around the world for research, student engagement and learning and teaching. The lab has been fitted with state-of-the-art equipment for recording and digitising the stories that result from social innovation projects.

In a live Skype session with Dr Il-Haam Petersen, Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), and some of the recent successes of the digital stories in Philippi in the Western Cape were shared.

Bishop Billyboy Ramahlele, UFS Director Community Engagement did the final honours by cutting the ribbon, declaring the lab open, and sharing the dream that the work done in this lab will contribute to positive relationships and cooperation between the university and the community, in making not only the university, but the country and the world a better place.


News Archive

Quantity Surveying and Construction Management department aspires to excellence
2017-08-14

Description: Prof Kahilu Kajimo-Shakantu Tags: Prof Kahilu Kajimo-Shakantu 

From the left: Prof Danie Vermeulen, Dean of the
Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences;
Prof Kahilu Kajimo-Shakantu, Head of the Department
of Quantity Surveying and Construction Management;
Prof Francis Petersen, Rector and Vice-Chancellor
at the UFS; and Dr Franco Geminiani, chairing the
panel from the South African Council for the Project
and Construction Management Professions.
Photo: Leonie Bolleurs

Achieving programme accreditation from the respective professional bodies is the ultimate goal for the Department of Quantity Surveying and Construction Management at the University of the Free State (UFS). This is according to Prof Kahilu Kajimo-Shakantu, the head of this department. This hallmark of quality reflects the university’s aspiration towards excellence.

Construction Management programmes reviewed
The university recently received a visit by a panel, representing the South African Council for the Project and Construction Management Professions (SACPCMP) to re-accredit programmes offered by the Department of Quantity Surveying and Construction Management. During the accreditation visit, the panel evaluated the programmes to determine whether they met the minimum requirements according to a set of pre-determined criteria.

When reviewing the programmes: BSc and BSc Hons Construction Management respectively, as well as the Project Management stream of the Masters programme in Land and Property Development Management (MLPM), the panel looked at programme design and outcomes including curriculum, study material and exam papers, institutional support, student recruitment, admission, development, retention and throughput, staffing recruitment and development, teaching and learning strategies, quality assurance, facilities, infrastructure and resources, professional development, industry and practical exposure and postgraduate policies, procedures and regulations, including research activities.

If the minimum requirements are achieved, the Department of Quantity Surveying and Construction Management at the UFS will receive accreditation for its programmes from 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2022.

It will also mean that we are certified
as producing quality employable
graduates who are well prepared to
enter the industry and make a difference.

Currently, the department has full accreditation by the SACPCMP (until March 2017) and the SACQSP (until December 2017).

Later this month, a panel from the South African Council for Property Valuation Profession (SACPVP) will review the accreditation of the Valuation stream of the MLPM programme. The South African Council for Quantity Surveying Profession responsible for accrediting the Quantity Surveying programmes will visit the university in 2018.

Certified as producing quality students

Prof Kajimo-Shakantu said: “If we maintain our accreditation, it will reflect that the UFS is among the best, with programmes which are recognised by professional bodies that set competence standards for professional registration of students. It will also mean that we are certified as producing quality employable graduates who are well prepared to enter the industry and make a difference. The programmes contribute to the development of the much-needed critical skills in the built environment.”


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