n Commonwealth Youth and Development - An evaluation of a young academic development programme at the University of South Africa
|Article Title||An evaluation of a young academic development programme at the University of South Africa|
|© Publisher:||UNISA Press|
|Journal||Commonwealth Youth and Development|
|Author||E. Sadler and L.C. Van Jaarsveldt|
|Publication Date||Jan 2012|
|Pages||29 - 47|
|Keyword(s)||Development, Evaluation, University of South Africa, Young academic programme and Young academics|
The University of South Africa is a mega-distance higher education institution offering degrees and diplomas to about 360 000 students worldwide. To deliver on its mandate, the university needs a skilled, dedicated and a motivated academic workforce. Attracting and retaining academic staff remains one of the biggest challenges, especially in the light of an aging cohort of productive senior academics and a general shortage of skills. A three-month full-time Young Academic Programme was designed and implemented to focus on the development of tuition, research skills and academic leadership. Since the programme has been repeated a couple of times since 2008 and have graduated 59 young academics, the university decided to evaluate the programme to determine if it was achieving its objectives, The evaluation of the programme identified various strengths and weaknesses. Most of the participants experienced the programme as inspiring, insightful and of a high quality. Some even reported that it was a life-changing experience. Positive contributions include solid exposure to teaching and learning and knowledge of the broader academic environment. Areas that need more attention are research methodology, community engagement, transfer of learning, mentoring and coaching.
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