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The University of Zululand (Unizulu) has announced plans to overhaul its engineering courses. The university has established an engineering advisory board to “initiate and review critical issues” as well as to serve as a liaison between Unizulu and the industrial sector.

Unizuly to overhaul engineering coursesEmeritus Professor Barry Downing (University of Cape Town’s Department of Electrical Engineering), Sabelo Hlelo (City of uMhlathuze Deputy Municipal Manager: Infrastructure and Technical Services), Musa Xulu (Foskor General Manager of Marketing and Sales), Professor Muzi Ndwandwe (University of Zululand Richards Bay Campus Executive Director), Emeritus Professor Gerald Nurick (University of Cape Town's Department of Mechanical Engineering) and Phiwo Thango (Morecare Engineering Services Group Managing Director)

“There was a call for Unizulu to undergo a transition from its standing as a traditional university into a comprehensive university in 2002 when higher education institutions were merged. In 2009 when the Richards Bay campus opened its doors, it was earmarked as the university’s flagship campus owing to its proximity to major industrial hubs and the mining sector in Richards Bay,” says Professor Muzi Ndwandwe, Executive Director of the Unizulu Richards Bay campus.

The engineering advisory board members include representatives from Isizinda Aluminium, MoreCare Engineering, Foskor, the City of uMhlathuze, RBCT and academics from the University of Cape Town (UCT). They have been tasked with assisting in the rollout of specific engineering qualifications.

These qualifications will include four diplomas in electrical engineering (electronics communication systems), electrical engineering (computer systems), mechanical engineering (process instrumentation and control) and mechanical engineering (mechatronics). There will also be a diploma and a BSc degree in marine engineering, two higher certificates in engineering technology and marine engineering, and six BSc degrees in engineering programmes in electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, computer engineering, chemical engineering, civil engineering and mechatronics.

Once electrical engineering and mechanical engineering curricula are completed, they will undergo Unizulu Faculty Board approvals and be accredited by the Engineering Council of South Africa. The proposed Unizulu engineering curriculum will be benchmarked using the UCT curriculum with refined improvements, the university has said.

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