On behalf of the Division of Student Development and Support (SDS), it gives me great pleasure to congratulate and extend my warm welcome on board to our new Graduate Competency Development Programme (GCDP) student interns.
This programme is a culmination of the work study review process that was conducted in 2019, and was conceptualised as a critical intervention for creating workplace readiness opportunities for UWC graduates to develop much needed skills. It is inextricably linked to the key strategic areas that are articulated in the Institutional Operating Plan, which are given practical significance in the SDS Strategic Framework document that frames holistic student experience and co-curricular opportunities, academic excellence support, leadership and student governance, human resources and transformation imperatives and public engagements and stakeholder networks, as key.
One of the most important tasks in any society is the education and training of its young people to possess a range of requisite skills. SDS has recognised the need for our graduates to possess certain competencies to be competitive within the very challenging graduate job market - competencies which are key to employment, progress and a strong society, and an economy that creates innovative and diverse job opportunities. The SDS Division will continue playing a leading role in creating an enabling environment and excellent opportunities for students to develop to their full potential, contributing positively to the betterment of the campus environment and society.
The GCDP initiative is one of the Division’s flagship programmes and we are immensely proud of the progress we have made in repositioning ourselves from purely a support focus, to representing one of the strategic critical delivery sites ensuring that the Division is a key player in the achievement of UWC’s IOP strategic goals. We are quite aware that this is a huge task, and we will be ready for it because we want this programme to succeed.
SDS will continue to ensure that the interns receive all the necessary support they need during the 18 months of their placement, and that they are exposed to how different departments operate given their unique contexts. Throughout this period within SDS, the interns will be exposed to inspiring stories that will uplift them and provide them with a solid platform from which to reach their goals. This will be made possible through various training workshops and skills transfer efforts to adapt students to real life situations where performance aspects are given primary focus.
It would be remiss of me not to take this opportunity to express our sincere gratitude to the GCDP Committee members who were the catalysts and the driving force behind the programme, and who handled the recruitment and placement of the interns with such professionalism and integrity.
This is the reason we continue marching forward. We are in the process of recruiting additional interns in preparation for the 2022 academic year. We aim to increase the number to 100 by placing more students in various SDS and other sister departments by 2025.
I wish the interns all the best in your journey. Let us hold hands as we work together and make your experience fulfilling.
I thank you.
Prof Pamela Dube
Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Student Development and Support