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.

Staff exchange with Polytechic of Namibia

In a bid to ensure that knowledge and cultures are shared in Africa, CPUT is focusing on exchange programmes with other tertiary institutions on the continent.

The Memorandum of Understanding between the Polytechnic of Namibia (PON) and CPUT, which was signed in 2013, spurred Mandie Richards, a senior lecturer who co-ordinates the international exchanges in the Office Management and Technology Department, to pursue an exchange programme with the Namibians.

This culminated in the first staff exchange between the School of Management Sciences (PON) and the School of Commerce, Management and Governmental Sciences (CPUT).

Lecturer Meagon dos Santos recently visited PON and shared her knowledge and skills by lecturing students, and meeting and sharing best practices with lecturers on community engagement, Work-Integrated Learning (WIL) and service learning.

Dos Santos says that lecturing a small number of second year students, approximately 20, was a good experience.

She added that dedicated computer labs and theory classrooms specifically for the department hosting her as well as students’ punctuality made the lecturing experience pleasant.

Lindie Beukes from PON lectured CPUT second year students and engaged with staff about recurriculation as PON is in the process of recurriculating.

Beukes also met with various members of management in the Faculty, as well as with staff in Fundani.

Her visit to the Hotel School at Granger Bay for lunch with Associate Dean Ivan van der Heever only resulted in highly complementary comments about the setting, ambience and cuisine.

Beukes says that the experience and knowledge she gained at CPUT will definitely assist in her role of leading the recurriculation process in her department at PON.

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.