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A journey into the open evening at UKZN Extended Learning

by Ayanda Radebe
UKZN Extended Learning had the wonderful opportunity of hosting our management and leadership open evening event on the 25th July 2023. This event was the first of its kind, post-COVID-19, which focused on empowering individuals to become effective leaders in today’s ever-changing business landscape. The event’s Programme Director was the charismatic Mr Roger Chetty, Strategy and Management consultant from Closers Global, who kept the audience excited and engaged throughout. Mr Mxolisi Miya, CEO, UKZN Extended Learning (UEL) welcomed the guests and provided an overview of the organisation and key expectations/takeaways from the evening.

A thought-provoking address by UEL’s Board Chair, Professor Sandile Songca, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Teaching and Learning, UKZN, took guests through the importance of learning as well as how short courses play a huge role in one’s career growth and development. This was followed by the Dean’s address, provided by Professor Thea van der Westhuizen, Academic Leader for Community Engagement and Internationalisation (on behalf of Professor Stephen Mutula, Dean: School of Management, IT and Governance). Professor van der Westhuizen’s address emphasised the importance of adaptive leadership in the constant organisational and societal shifts. Her engaging presentation challenged the guest’s thoughts on the need for leaders who are able to navigate uncertainty and drive positive change. In line with this, the Keynote address delivered by Professor Manoj Maharaj, School of Management, IT and Governance, UKZN, spoke on the importance of managing in the digital era. Leading in the digital age has transformed the way in which businesses operate and has opened up opportunities for growth and innovation. This further poses a challenge to the new age manager who has to adapt to these changes through continuous learning.

The event featured an insightful panel discussion with Roger Chetty, Zamandlovu Ndlovu, Key account manager, UEL and Sarah Haffenden, Marketing Communications Manager, UEL. The discussion featured a Q&A on why one should choose a UEL Programme and the key queries were discussed, followed by questions from the audience. Attendees gained a rich understanding of the courses the organisation offers and how these programmes can help them in advancing in their careers. The programme was concluded with the alumni address by Zamaswazi Luswazi, Senior Manager (Engineering), Transnet and the vote of thanks by Kerry-Lee Nyembe, Operations Manager (Acting), UEL.

The formalities were followed by a networking session where guests had the chance to connect with like-minded individuals, exchange ideas, and build valuable professional relationships. This informal interaction facilitated the sharing of personal experiences, further enriching the learning experience. This also involved a handful of giveaway prizes from sponsors including as East Coast Radio, Coastlands Musgrave Hotel, Coastlands Umhlanga Hotel, Key Essentialz Musiq Lessonz, Closers Global, SAMS’s Hair Lounge Beauty Bar, Tarryn Jawahir Hair: Nails Beauty as well as a full bursary on the Management Development Programme (MDP) sponsorship from UKZN Extended Learning valued at almost R50 000.

In continuing to build and groom future leaders, UKZN Extended Learning is having the Management Development Programme starting on the 26th of September 2023. This programme aims to provide you with the opportunity to refocus, immerse yourself in the latest thinking about best practice in management, and provide you with personal and professional tools to strengthen your effectiveness as a manager and leader. Our Senior Leadership Development Programme is also starting on the 11th of September 2023. This programme is targeted at senior executives, directors and heads of business units who typically would have responsibility for planning and leadership or strategic activities in organisations, who wish to develop leadership capabilities to drive long-term sustainability and success of the organisation in a dynamic, fast-changing world.

We are confident that the shared wisdom and networking opportunities from this event will positively impact attendees’ leadership approaches and nurture a new generation of exceptional leaders.

Useful resources:
UKZN Extended Learning
UKZN Extended Learning is committed to enrichment through lifelong learning, by providing high quality credit and non-credit bearing short courses and academic programmes in collaboration with schools and colleges of the University of KwaZulu-Natal.
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