Saturday, July 20, 2024

Eduvos: The Shaping Force of Modern Higher Education – Insights Success

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Empowering Minds, Shaping Futures!

In the rapidly changing world of higher education, a transformational force has developed that nurtures students’ potential. The private higher education sector plays a pivotal role in preparing individuals for a future that demands adaptability and innovation.

At the heart of this sector stands Eduvos, a name synonymous with academic excellence and a commitment to student empowerment. With a rich history dating back to 1979, this private Higher Education Institution in South Africa has undergone significant transformations, embracing modern technologies and fostering a forward-thinking approach to education. It stands as a cornerstone in bridging academia and industry, empowering graduates for global impact, and prioritizing student wellness in higher education.

Eduvos has evolved into a progressive and agile institution, actively incorporating AI and VR technologies into its curriculum. Offering over 20 internationally recognized qualifications, Eduvos focuses on developing knowledge, skill and competence by providing adaptable learning modes to cater to diverse student needs.

At the helm of Eduvos’s leadership is Siegie Brownlee, a seasoned professional in private higher education management. As the CEO, Siegie’s strategic vision and resilience have been instrumental in steering Eduvos toward success. Her commitment to student success, organizational excellence, and the integration of academia, technology, industry, and innovation reflects Eduvos’s ethos and positions it as a driving force in the future of higher education. Her innovative, agile thinking propels Eduvos forward to remain relevant and on top of its game.

Let’s delve deeper to learn more:

Empowering Africa’s Future through Quality Education

Siegie has dedicated over 25 years to management in Private Higher Education, a career path she wouldn’t trade for anything else. It brings her immense joy, fulfillment, and purpose.

As a dynamic and visionary leader, Siegie hopes to reshape the Education Industry in Africa, with Eduvos leading the way. Siegie inspires and motivates employees to achieve more through her growth–mindset and focus on the organization’s mission, values and culture. Her extensive experience in private higher education has given her a deep understanding of the factors that drive a successful Higher Education Institution, industry partnerships and student success.

Siegie is a strategic and agile thinker equipped with the knowledge, insights, and experience needed to successfully transform organizations and departments. She is known for building high-performing teams and for constantly pushing boundaries with her eye constantly set on the future. Her adaptability and resilience in overcoming challenges motivate leaders and employees to succeed in the face of adversity.

She embodies the values of the organizations she represents and leads authentically with integrity and style. Siegie’s success can be attributed to her adaptability to an ever-changing business landscape and her ability to communicate with ease and grace in both public speaking and through active listening.

Siegie’s commitment to moulding the future of higher education is unwavering. She is driven to provide quality, affordable private higher education where students are at the centre of the learning model. Her mission is to ensure that graduates enter society equipped with the knowledge and skills they need to make a positive contribution to society and have a measurable impact on their careers and the organisations they work for.

In summary, Siegie’s recipe for success in the higher education market is a perfect blend of academia, technology, industry, and innovation.

Eduvos’s mission and purpose align perfectly with Siegie’s outlook and values. Joining and growing Eduvos has given her the opportunity to help establish a much-needed institution that provides affordable, quality higher education to the African continent, thereby helping to rectify some of the prevalent socio-economic injustices.

At Eduvos, the belief is that Africa is too rich to be poor. For this reason, their mission is to shape potential, student by student, towards Africa’s potential. More than 40% of the world’s youth is African. The goal is to empower these young people through education to make a difference in the continent.

Embracing Modern Technologies for Future-Ready Education

Eduvos is characterized as a progressive, forward-thinking, agile, and fast-paced institution. The organisation and its staff embody a “growth mindset,” and fully embrace modern technologies, innovations, and changes to the professional and academic landscape. This approach is aimed at equipping students with the skills and knowledge needed to prosper in the current and future working world.

At Eduvos, there is a constant effort to update the curriculum, classrooms, and teaching methods to reflect changes in the professional and academic world. The institution has embraced the “flipped classroom model,” which encourages students to go through basic learning in their own space and time, and that campus sessions include face-to-face debate, collaboration, connecting with industry, problem-solving and learning from others.

Eduvos aims to embrace the technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, such as AI and VR. It has partnered with the U.S.-based company EON Reality to incorporate AI and VR into its teaching. This strategy ensures that students have a competitive edge in the job market.

Bridging the Skills Gap with Future-Ready Qualifications

Eduvos offers over 20 fully accredited, internationally recognized qualifications across four future-facing faculties. The range of qualifications includes degrees, honor’s degrees, higher certificates, pre-degree foundation programs, and online short courses.

The institution strives to drive relevance. As such, their qualifications are constantly updated, reassessed, and added to ensure they meet current and future demands of the working world. For instance, in 2023, an Azure AI Engineering qualification was launched to meet the ever-growing need for skilled AI engineers, especially as AI tools like ChatGPT boomed in 2023.

Recognizing that gaming and esports are massive markets, both globally and specifically in Africa, the institution launched two gaming qualifications to help bridge the skills gap in gaming in Africa.

Adaptable Learning for Today’s Professionals

The institution offers various modes of learning, which include studying on campus, online, and distance learning, both full-time and part-time. This range ensures that no matter where individuals are in their learning journey, there will be a qualification that suits their needs. For instance, many of the qualifications are aimed at working professionals who want to upskill and reskill in order to stay relevant in the job market.

Creating Vibrant Learning Spaces for Holistic Education

The new future-fit campuses are places where innovation, technology, academia, and industry converge. They are modern, equipped with advanced technology, and serve as hubs of learning and socializing for students. These campuses feature pause areas, canteens, and Innovation Hubs.

The flipped classroom model enables students to engage with the study material at their own pace. When they attend class, they utilize the opportunity to problem-solve, discuss case studies, collaborate with industry and colleagues, and ask questions, having already acquired a basic understanding of the topic. This approach fosters critical thinking, practical application, and a deeper engagement with the study material.

Face-to-face campus engagement plays a significant role in the educational model. It facilitates interaction among students, industry professionals, and lecturers. The aim is to provide students with a holistic learning experience, and the campuses play a crucial role in this endeavour. The campuses are vibrant spaces where students can collaborate, socialize, and receive a quality education.

Fostering Community and Innovation

Eduvos is committed to providing students with a holistic learning experience. This includes an excellent academic experience, wellness experience, campus experience, and a quality customer experience. The campuses are imbued with an “Edu-vibe” and a sense of community among the students (affectionately referred to as “Vossies”), lecturers, and staff. The community is diverse, with the student body comprising students from over 40 countries.

Eduvos strives to shape the potential of its students in a holistic manner, encompassing academic, career, and psycho-social perspectives. The team of Student Affairs Advisors act as “personal bankers” to the students, always available to assist, support, and guide them. The Student Affairs agenda is rich and varied, spanning student wellness, academic support, student funding, student activities, career guidance, and assistance with employment.

The campuses serve as hubs for various student activities and clubs, whether they are Moot court teams, debate clubs, poetry slams, or esports tournaments. This year, esports leagues were launched at all 12 campuses, making the institution one of the largest higher education leagues in the country. Esports offers numerous learning opportunities, especially in STEM fields. Students are required to work in teams, analyze their strategies, and understand computer hardware and software. This has become a major way for students across campuses to connect with each other.

Bridging Academia and Industry for Career Success

The institution recognizes that it is only the first step in its students’ career paths. As such, the qualifications are designed to enhance the relevance of the students, giving them a competitive edge in the job market.

A dedicated Employability Centre is in place, which hosts events such as CV writing workshops and industry breakfasts and shares employment and internship opportunities with students. The Employability Centre strives to connect students with industry professionals for networking and learning opportunities. It also provides assistance to students who wish to pursue further studies after their undergraduate degree.

Career Fairs are hosted on the campuses, where students can interact with industry professionals and learn more about the job opportunities in their chosen field of study. These fairs also provide information about job opportunities and internship programs available to them after graduation.

The institution has continued to expand its Industry Partnership list, aligned with the expansion of its work-integrated learning programs. Numerous Employability Affiliation Agreements were established in 2023, serving as a valuable bridge to enhance students’ employability by nurturing practical skills, industry knowledge, and networking opportunities. Through participation in internships, joint graduate programs, and collaboration with industry professionals at various events, students gain real-world insights and hands-on experience, making them more appealing to employers.

Eduvos has strengthened its partnerships with Old Mutual, Pepkor IT, and the National Funeral Directors’ Association, among others. These partnerships benefit the students as they provide opportunities to meet with and learn from professionals in their field.

Keeping Academia Relevant through Industry Collaboration

Each of the academic faculties maintains a close advisory circle across the various industries in which they operate. The faculties are also accredited and aligned with many professional bodies, which further ensure currency and relevance. An outward-looking approach is adopted to ensure that students benefit from industry exposure through mandatory Work Integrated Learning Projects, exposure to Guest Lecturers, and working on real business problems and case studies.

The lecturers are a mix of academics and industry professionals who are aware of the current industry trends and understand how the curriculum needs to evolve to stay relevant. The Academic Team is constantly revising the content of each qualification to ensure that students receive an education that is relevant and will make them invaluable employees once they enter the workforce.

Empowering Graduates for Global Impact

The institution’s graduates are making a difference in various fields all over the world. In 2023, the institution received the PMR Africa Diamond Arrow Award as the best private higher education provider in South Africa. PMR.Africa interviewed respondents, mostly line managers and HR managers, from large companies, national, provincial, and local government departments, and state-owned enterprises (SOEs) in South Africa that employ graduates and students from various providers of private higher education. Respondents rated graduates from private higher education institutions across 12 criteria, including their application of knowledge in the workplace, innovation, and academic knowledge. Based on these responses, the institution’s graduates were awarded the highest scores.

Five students from the institution made it to the Top 100 of this year’s DHL Grad Star Awards. The institution’s Graphic Design students demonstrated their exceptional talent and creativity by winning accolades at the prestigious annual Student Gold Pack Awards.

At the end of 2022, the institution became the first private higher education institution in South Africa to provide its students with access to Golden Key. To date, over 300 Eduvos graduates have been invited to join the Golden Key Society.

Bianca Lee Burgess, a graduate of the institution with a degree in graphic design, now works in the world of special effects. She has worked on Bafta and Emmy award-winning shows, including The Book of Boba Fett, The Mandalorian (season 3), and Black Mirror.

Louis Oosthuizen, who worked part-time while studying for his Software Engineering degree at the institution, has since pursued his Bachelor of Science Honours in Information Technology (Software Engineering). Louis is a Full-Stack Developer, developing in a multitude of programming languages. His study experience allowed him to graduate to a developer position instead of working through a graduate program.

Suhanna Pitamber began her learning journey at the institution with a Higher Certificate in Information Systems (Software Development) and has since graduated with an ACCA-accredited Bachelor of Commerce in Accounting qualification. This provided her with the opportunity to do her ACCA articles at one of South Africa’s best audit firms.

Prioritising Mental Health in Higher Education

The institution prioritizes the mental health and wellness of its students. It has dedicated student advisors, academic coaches, and psychologists that students can reach out to. These professionals from the institution offer guidance and support as needed, whether the student is studying on campus or remotely.

Eduvos has partnered with Universal Healthcare in 2024. Universal is a multi-national, full-service healthcare management company, with a proven track record of providing high-quality, affordable, and sustainable health and wellness services. Eduvos students will be able to access Universal’s range of healthcare options to make sure their physical, emotional, and mental health is taken care of.

Africa’s Meta-University: Growth and Innovation

In 2023, the institution welcomed a record number of first-year students, surpassing many public universities in South Africa. It looks forward to growing even more in the coming years.

To accommodate this growth, some of the campuses have been relocated, and plans are underway to expand others. Although these are significant tasks, they are viewed as positive challenges. As mentioned, the world’s youth is in Africa, and they need to be educated. The institution takes pride in being part of the solution.

The goal is to become Africa’s leading meta-university by 2027. This involves expanding digital offerings and incorporating meta-technologies even further into teaching while still providing the highest quality  higher education.

Eduvos: Student Empowerment and Institutional Success

The Eduvos Blog features a section titled “Vossie Features,” where students share their learning journeys. These interactions highlight the tangible, positive influence that Eduvos has on its students.

As noted, Eduvos was awarded the PMR.Africa Diamond Arrow Award this year, which is extremely encouraging for the institution.

The student intake numbers and corporate partnerships in 2023 alone demonstrate that Eduvos is on the right track and aims to build on this momentum.

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