College of Agriculture, Engineering
and Science (CAES)

About Us

The Teaching and Learning (T&L) unit is headed by Prof Naven Chetty who has a vision for enhancing teaching and learning in the College that can heighten the academic experience for both the academic staff and the students. Under the leadership of Prof Chetty, the overall goal of the unit is to move towards a strategic vision to drive initiatives

The unit works towards monitoring the academic performance of students in the college and providing timely academic interventions to ensure that they are equipped with important skills that are needed for success in higher education.

The unit will also promote continued professional development of academic staff especially in areas such as providing training that sensitises lecturers to cultural, language and gender issues, sparks ideas about how to improve the teaching experience and encourages staff to work as a team.

Under the leadership of Prof Chetty, the overall goal of the unit is to move towards a strategic vision to drive initiatives such as blended learning, technological learning and curriculum reform within the College space to improve throughput.

Visionary teaching and learning strategies not only enhance the student experience but also enrich the teaching and learning strategy of the institution while at the same time maintaining the high academic standards associated with UKZN. 

As an institution, collectively there are numerous measures now in place that seek to partially respond to this. In addition to Academic Monitoring and Support, an informed approach to teaching pedagogy are key to improving graduate quality, reducing attrition rates and thus makes Universities more sustainable in these tough economic times.

Developing a streamlined curricula in line with meeting the needs of the job market, including emphasising core and analytical skills so that graduates contribute meaningfully to their sectors has become the need of the hour.

Message from the dean

“Visionary teaching and learning strategies not only enhance the student experience but also enrich the teaching and learning strategy of the institution while at the same time maintaining the high academic standards associated with UKZN.”

- Prof Naven Chetty, Dean of Teaching & Learning

Massification of higher education institutions has resulted in a multitude of serious challenges that impact on the quality of graduates, throughput rates and overall time taken to complete degrees, and the overall teaching and learning experience in higher education institutions. Another aspect that this impacts on is the high attrition rate of students due to their underperformance and the slow response of higher education institutions to respond to the need for enhancing the learning experience for the students. The support measures offered must transcend the realm of purely academic support and include significant socio-psychological support as well. This then directly speaks to the need for teaching and learning to be streamlined, student-centered, palliative and inclusionary.

Visionary teaching and learning strategies not only enhance the student experience but also enrich the teaching and learning strategy of the institution while at the same time maintaining the high academic standards associated with UKZN. As an institution, collectively there are numerous measures now in place that seek to partially respond to this. In addition to Academic Monitoring and Support, an informed approach to teaching pedagogy are key to improving graduate quality, reducing attrition rates and thus makes Universities more sustainable in these tough economic times. Developing a streamlined curricula in line with meeting the needs of the job market, including emphasising core and analytical skills so that graduates contribute meaningfully to their sectors has become the need of the hour.

T&L News

2021

Dear first-year students,

Welcome to UKZN and in particular to the College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science. We are proud to have you join our world-class College albeit under very unique and difficult circumstances. You have made an excellent choice to join us and we will endeavour to give you an experience that will help you navigate not only the academic challenges but your future as an employed individual.

With the commencement of online lectures for 2021 semester 1, we are aware that many of you are unable to access lecture material and other learning activities on Learn2021 due to registration not yet having being completed successfully. We recognise and accept the challenges of remote online registration and we do not want any student to be disadvantaged or left behind. With that intention, please note the following mitigation measures that will be implemented with immediate effect.

  1. We are going to implement a timetable of support for all first-year students after hours on weekdays and on a Saturday (and Sunday if necessary) with zoom links being circulated to all students to join for help. The Schools are going to identify the modules for us to implement these and the Academic Leaders of Teaching and Learning will coordinate at School level and a timetable will be developed and circulated through a communique from my office.

  2. The plan is to cover the missed lecture material and allow students to ask questions of clarity and get help with their difficulties. Noting that this will be in addition to the materials already posted online and the regular tutorials that they can attend.

  3. We will implement a training session to navigate online teaching and learning which will incorporate Moodle, email and word processing. Students will receive an sms with details of this training.

  4. These sessions are in addition to the SI and hot-seat sessions we already run with emphasis on helping the students who registered late to catch-up.

  5. Assessments for level 1 will be delayed until 19 April 2021 and the student vacation will be used to hold catch-up assessments and a bootcamp for students who need extra help.

  6. Practicals will be delayed to start only on the week of 12 April 2021.

 

Although the move to remote online teaching and learning has not been easy for many of you, we are committed to provide you the best teaching and learning experience that is possible under the current circumstances. Let’s stand together to overcome the challenges that we face and work towards achieving similar, if not the same, world-class experience you are used to and expect in our normal contact classes through the online mode of instruction.

Stay safe.
Best wishes,
Professor Naven Chetty
College Dean of Teaching and Learning

2020

COVID-19 pandemic as a result of coronavirus infection has resulted in unprecedented changes in various sectors in the whole world. Higher education in South Africa in general and University of KwaZulu-Natal in particular is no exception. However, it is the vision of the leadership of the University and College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science that the teaching and learning activities should go on in the best way possible. This will not only help the students to have uninterrupted learning but also keep them motivated and occupied during this time of lockdown, isolation and quarantine. Various training programmes for staff and students, moving to various online platforms for teaching and learning and academic monitoring and support are few of such interventions. The college T&L Unit together with the various stake holders is committed to providing quality learning experience for students even during these uncertain times.

Professor Naven Chetty, has been appointed Dean of Teaching and Learning at the College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science (CAES) after acting in the position since 2017.

‘During his time acting in this role, Professor Chetty has displayed a vision for enhancing teaching and learning in the College, and the University has benefited from his vision while participating in the UKZN structures dealing with strategic issues of teaching and learning,’ said Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Head of the CAES Professor Albert Modi. ‘We look forward to many more years of his leadership.’

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The newly-opened Centre for Academic Success in Science and Engineering (CASSE) at UKZN consolidates a proud tradition of foundational access programmes and holistic educational pedagogy within the University spanning 30 years.

Science and Engineering bridging programmes within the College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science (CAES) have a rich heritage. As far back as 1988, the UNITE Engineering Access Programme started on the former University of Natal’s (UN) Howard College campus, while the Engineering Bridging Programme was launched at the then University of Durban-Westville (UDW) in 1993.

>> Read more