Research stars shine at BTech Conference

Students in the Faculty of Business and Management Sciences who are outstanding research presenters won cash prizes during this year’s BTech Conference.

The faculty held the conference on the District Six Campus recently under the theme, driving economic development and empowerment through research and innovation.

The faculty’s Dean, Prof Paul Green, said the conference was the initiative and drive of acting Assistant Dean: Research & Innovation, Prof Chux Iwu.

Green added that the purpose of a conference of this nature was developmental, as well as to stimulate and provoke critical thinking and provide for the extension of learning.

“It is the basis of an academic or anyone pursuing the route of academia,” he said.

He argued that South Africa was calling out for action, particularly in the area of economic development so much that some even argue that economic reform should be done radically.

The prizes for individual presentations were R5 000 for the winner, R3 000 2nd prize and Special commendation R750, while for group presentations the prizes were R8 000 for the winners, 2nd R5 000 and  Special Commendation R1 000.

Prizes for the individual presenters were awarded as follows:

Commendation prizes went to the Retail Business Management, Cost and Management Accounting, Financial Management and Tourism Management departments;

The runner-up went to Internal Auditing Department and the winner was the Sport Management Department.

For the presenting groups Commendation Awards were given to HR Management, Business and Information Administration and Hospitality Management departments. The Entrepreneurship and Marketing departments were awarded runners-up and winners, respectively.

Sibusiso Zondi, of Emerald Group Publishing, which was one of the conference sponsors, said 37 CPUT authors are published through Emerald and that the group offers annual research funding awards.

Seminar tackles Translanguaging

Switching between two languages when teaching provides for the exploitation of all the linguistic repertoires of pupils in assessment for learning tasks rather than only taking their proficiency in the dominant language into account.

This is the view Prof Piet Van Avermaet, a visiting academic from Ghent University, Belgium, shared with the audience attending the Seminar on Translanguaging as a pedagogical resource.

The Seminar was hosted recently by the Faculty of Business and Management Sciences on the Granger Bay Campus.  The faculty’s language co-ordinator, Dr Sithembele Marawu invited Van Avermaet to address the seminar.

Presenting his lecture under the title, Translanguaging as a pedagogical resource. Go beyond binaries, he said: “Translanguaging is the process of making meaning, shaping experiences, gaining understanding and knowledge through the use of two languages”.

He added that social inequality and unequal outcomes in education were big problems not only in schools but also in higher education. Van Avermaet said language use at home is seen as the cause of this inequality; speaking the home language is seen as hindering children’s academic development.

“Move beyond the binaries and towards a new approach to learning that integrates translanguaging and learning,” enthused Avermaet.

He argued that when learning and evaluating are seen as inseparable, the concept of assessment for learning can be connected seamlessly to the concept of functional multilingual learning.

“Both call for a learning environment that allows frequent interaction between the pupils and allow for the exploitation of all the linguistic repertoires of pupils in assessment for learning tasks rather than only taking their proficiency in the dominant language into account.”

Welcome international students

The Faculty of Business and Management Sciences recently welcomed a group of international exchange students from its partner universities in Europe.

The 24 students are from Germany, The Netherlands, Austria, Belgium and France. They will be attending classes at various departments within the faculty.

As part of the students’ orientation week a luncheon was hosted recently by the faculty’s Associate Dean, Ivan van der Heever, at the Cape Town Hotel School.

Van der Heever welcomed the students to the university and to Cape Town and informed them about the current water crisis.

He urged them to save as much water as they can.

Luke Geraets, an Entrepreneurship student from Fontys University, Netherlands, says he came to Cape Town to experience a different culture as he has always wanted to study abroad.

“The people in Cape Town are open, they are eager to know you and tell you about themselves,” he says. “And they are very proud of their city and country.”

Florean Hagner, a Real Estate student from Anhalt University, Germany, says Cape Town is a beautiful city.

“The local people are friendly and the city is an ideal location in which to shoot nice photographs,” says Florean.

He says that he chose to come to South Africa over European countries because he had never been to Africa.

As part of their orientation the students also participated in a CPUT Library Orientation and Information Literacy training, a tour of the exciting tourism destinations around the Peninsula as well as a Cultural Tour of local townships, which included opportunities for the European students to interact with the faculty’s community-based partners.

During the tours the students were guided by the faculty’s staff members Nizaam Peck, a qualified tour guide, and Nicole Umwizerwa.

Academic addresses conference on female entrepreneurs

The Acting Associate Dean for Research in the Faculty of Business and Management Sciences, Prof Chux Iwu, was a guest speaker at the recent Africa Women Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum (AWIEF) conference.

The two-day conference, which was held in Cape Town, was opened by Emeritus Archbishop Desmond Tutu and his wife, Leah.

Several dignitaries from within and beyond the country were in attendance, including United Nations representatives, cabinet ministers from Africa and Europe and former CPUT Council chairperson, Mbulelo Bikwani.

Iwu spoke about the need for Sub-Saharan Africa to address the historical restrictions that society imposes on women.

“Women sometimes give in to these social restrictions instead of doing as much as they can to be as successful as their male counterparts,” he said.

He was taking part in a panel discussion about “Education and capacity requirements for inclusive growth” alongside academics and industry captains.

“I was happy to share the stage with people who are involved in research and entrepreneurship,” he said.

Iwu was invited to the conference after the organisers saw an academic paper,which he had co-written, on women entrepreneurship in the tourism industry in the Commonwealth Youth and Development Journal.

AWIEF is a not-for-profit economic empowerment organisation for all African women. which connects emerging entrepreneurs with established women entrepreneurs and works to equip the next generation of female entrepreneurs with information and opportunities.

CPUT students from the Entrepreneurship Department) as well as Western Cape Premier, Helen Zille, and City of Cape Town mayor, Patricia de Lille, also attended the conference.

CPUT welcomes European exchange students

During this semester, the Faculty of Business and Management Sciences welcomed 25 students from 15 partner universities spread throughout Europe.

The students, who hail from Germany, Austria, Belgium, France, Finland and the Netherlands, will be studying in the faculty’s various departments for the semester.

The faculty’s International exchange programme provides exchanges for students and staff. Its European partners send four students each per year to CPUT, while the faculty sends two students to each of them.

As part of its orientation programme for the new students, the faculty arranged a day’s tour of the Cape Peninsula as well as a Cultural Tour, which were guided by the programme’s co-ordinator, Nizaam Peck,

The day of the Cape Peninsula Tour started with a drive along the Atlantic seaboard to Seal Island in Hout Bay and included various visits to popular Cape Town sites.

The day of the Cultural Tour included walking through the historic area of District Six, a visit to the District Six Museum, Langa and Heideveld Townships.

The tour was intended to give the students a glimpse of how South Africans are coping with the effects of apartheid after 21 years into democracy.

Besides touring around Langa Township, they visited the Guga S’Thebe Skills Development Centre.

“Langa has a 50% unemployment rate and the centre is home to many projects which up skill the locals to be able to work for themselves or to find employment,” he says.

Residents are trained to become picture framers in two months or make artistic cups and plates in six months.

Many other projects that empower the community such as African dance and music programmes are run at the centre for children after school hours.

International exchange program success

CPUT is forging ahead with its resolve to produce graduates who can make meaningful contributions anywhere in the world.

During this semester the Faculty of Business and Management Sciences sent 12 deserving students to partner universities in Europe to gain a global perspective of their respective industries.

The students are in the Departments of Retail Business Management, Tourism Management, Management, Human Resource Management, and Accounting and Financial Information Systems.

Each department selected two students and they will be placed in the following universities:

  • IPAG university in Nice, France
  • Carinthia University of Applied Sciences in Austria
  • Worms University of Applied Sciences in Germany
  • Muenster University of Applied Sciences in Germany
  • Ravensburg University of Applied Sciences in Germany
  • Anhalt University of Applied Sciences in Germany

The faculty receives approximately 60 exchange students per year who stay for a semester in the faculty.

In return, the faculty sends between eight and 12 students as well as up to six staff members per year to partner universities abroad.

Students participate in a three-month academic exchange programme which counts towards their studies while staff members guest lecture for two weeks and focus on collaboration with partner universities.

“Many of our students cannot afford a study abroad programme and the faculty sponsors their flights, arranges their accommodation and provides a basic subsistence allowance for the duration of the exchange,” says Nizaam Peck, the faculty’s Co-ordinator: International Exchanges.