At the EDHE Intervarsity 2022 finals event on 18 November, Mr Richardt Kok, EDHE Stakeholder Manager, introduced a new award. He told the audience that under the leadership of the Community of Practice for Learning and Teaching, EDHE had incepted the Entrepreneurship Learning and Teaching Excellence Award.

“Through this initiative it is our hope that EDHE shines a spotlight on entrepreneurship pedagogy across all disciplines.”  To enter, candidates were asked, in the first round, to submit an abstract on their respective academic programmes and modules. During the second round, candidates had to submit case studies that were peer-reviewed by an international panel.

“The response for this first year was tremendous: 23 submissions were received from 13 universities.”

Dr Thea van der Westhuizen (below right), Chairperson, EDHE CoP for Entrepreneurship Learning and Teaching and Academic Leader: Management and Entrepreneurship at the University of KwaZulu Natal, and Professor Tshidi Mohapeloa (below left), Deputy Chairperson of this CoP and coordinator of the Postgraduate Diploma in Enterprise Management at Rhodes University, presented the Award to the top three achievers.

The First prize went to the Genesis Project – the core course and action learning component of entrepreneurship offered by the faculty of Commerce at the University of Cape Town. The postgraduate diploma in entrepreneurship is an honours level NQF qualification with a clear mandate to develop outstanding entrepreneurial leaders who will take their Genesis businesses forward at the end of the year and start their own new venture. In order to graduate with a postgraduate diploma, students have to complete 12 honours courses and their Genesis project. Genesis convenor, Mr Stuart Hendry (centre, above) received the prize on behalf of his team.

First runner-up was Dr Ruenda Loots (centre, below) from Stellenbosch University who developed a diploma in sustainable development, “a three-year learning journey for a new generation of change agents and social entrepreneurs”. Through a series of interlinked modules, students explore values, perspectives and paradigms that shape concepts of sustainability. The premise of the diploma is built on the firm belief that sustainability and entrepreneurship must be combined for a just sustainable African future.

Second runner-up was Stellenbosch’s Ex-Cell project described as “connecting higher education’s teaching mandate to its social impact mandate for the purpose of inclusivity and facilitating access to higher education.” Ex-Cell is a collaborative project between Stellenbosch University’s School of Accountancy and the Department of Correctional Services. Accountancy lecturers, Mr Jean Ontong (second from right, below) and Ms Sher Arendse-Fourie (second from left, below) – there to receive the coveted award – implemented the project mandate and taught prisoners a variety of skills, including how to draw up business plan.

EDHE also presented Rising Star Deputy Vice-Chancellor (DVC) Award, which went to Professor Vuyokazi Nomlomo, DVC for teaching and Learning at the University of Zululand. Professor Nomlomo received the accolade virtually. Of this recognition, Dr Norah Clarke said: “Lecturers and academics are the unsung heroes. This award recognises the remarkable progress in support of entrepreneurship in 2022. We’ve received a number of nominations – all made by people who believe the DVC is worthy of this award.

Winner of the DVC Award 2022 went to Professor Jesika Singh (right, above), who is responsible for Research, Innovation and Partnerships at the University of Limpopo. The Award, conferred on her by USAf’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr Phethiwe Matutu, acknowledges Professor Singh’s outstanding contribution to fostering and enabling an entrepreneurial spirit on her university campus. Professor Singh was also widely applauded.

The Entrepreneurship Development in Higher Education (EDHE) programme, which organises the annual Entrepreneurship Intervarsity, is a facility of the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET), implemented in partnership with Universities South Africa (USAf).

Charmain Naidoo is a contract writer for Universities South Africa.

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