School of Engineering Embarks on Curriculum Transformation

Newly appointed Dean of UKZN School of Engineering, Professor Glen Bright, started his tenure with a bold initiative by hosting an Engineering Curriculum Transformation workshop.

The aim of the workshop, held on 24 October, was to streamline courses across Engineering disciplines and to realign the Engineering curricula for social impact and with changing industry needs.

‘Higher Education curricula must respond to the new realities in society,’ was the key message from keynote speaker, Dr Whitfield Green, the Chief Director of Teaching and Learning Development at the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET). Green’s comprehensive framing of the curriculum within a broader socio-economic, political and technological context provided for stimulating discussion from the different academic leaders.

As one of the “professional” Disciplines at UKZN, the School of Engineering’s curricula outcomes are regulated by the Washington Accord through the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA). However, the dynamic nature of industry as a result of the Fourth Industrial Revolution will require additional skills which Higher Education needs to respond to.

The workshop afforded the various academic leaders opportunities to explore synergies for growth and to optimise efficiencies. It culminated in a task team under Professor Jules Tapamo, Academic Leader Teaching and Learning, to drive the transformation momentum.

Words: Rudi Kimmie