Recently, the Directorate of Research and Innovation (DRI) at University of Venda (UNIVEN) within the auspices of the University Capacity Development Programme (UCDP) held its University Capacity Development Grant (UCDG) Staff Capacity Development Workshop for staff members who have been funded in 2021 to pursue their Masters and Doctoral studies. The Workshop took place at the Ranch Hotel Polokwane. 

Workshop Participants posing for the Group Photo

In his opening and welcome remarks, Senior Professor Georges Ekosse said that for our tomorrow to be better than our today, we must focus on our academic achievements and research endeavors. Senior Prof Ekosse advised attendees not to give up whenever they are faced with challenges, obstacles, distractions, and frustrations in their studies, but should remain fully focused and committed to the cause, unmovable and not shaken. He further indicated that we all have 24 hours a day and we should not waste any second. As you make your bed, so you must lie on it. He encouraged the workshop participants to be more determined to have their masters and doctoral degrees and advised them to make use of the UCDG funding and achieve their academic goals. 

The guest speaker from the University of South Africa, Professor E Fosso Kankeu, presented strategies on how candidates can complete their masters and doctoral studies in the prescribed timeframe. He took the participants on how to become an established academic, proposal writing (purpose and structure of a proposal), ethical clearance, research integrity, hazard identification and risk assessment and relationship between supervisor and supervisee. 

Professor Lufuno Makhado of the Faculty of Health Sciences, UNIVEN, made his presentation on Article Writing and Research Data Management. He shared ideas on Article Format (Mini-dissertation, Dissertation or Thesis), key impact of using Article format, and Dissertations/Thesis 

Guidelines. Professor Takalani Mashau of the Faculty of Humanities, Social Sciences and Education, UNIVEN, presented on Article writing for publications during postgraduate studies. He indicated that the Journal Article Writing is a journey and getting an article submitted is a major undertaking coupled with acceptance and rejection. He further shared with participants on how to effectively deal with rejection. Dr Angelina Maphula of the Faculty of Health Sciences, UNIVEN, spoke on overcoming academic challenges as a postgraduate student who is a staff member. Dr Maphula shared with participants the challenges faced by postgraduate students who are staff members/employees common reactions to stress as a scholar, and how to overcome such challenges advancing certain solution pathways. 

Ms Avhatakali Raphalalani from DRI, UNIVEN, explained the terms and conditions of the grant, and how progress made by the beneficiary should be reported. Mr Bandile Mpukwana, also from DRI, UNIVEN, explained how the UCDG should be utilised following the University processes and procedures of using funds. The programme was directed by Mrs Julia Sigama of DRI, UNIVEN. 

On the way forward, Senior Professor Ekosse encouraged participants to promote Apogee (Super Excellence) and Eustress (Positive Stress) for Successful Achievements. He advised Participants to empty their minds from negative thoughts, distractions, and frustrations. Participants were further advised not to allow themselves to be distracted by things that generally distract people; and never to be afraid of pressure. Hence, the important thing between success and failure is the person who continues to pursue whatever goal he/she is pursuing without giving up despite the pressures will most definitely succeed. When success comes and victory attained, they should be celebrated. Senior Professor Ekosse used the six words: Who, What, Why, When, Where, and How to emphasise on how success can be realised. He said that having answers to these six words at any circumstance or situation including studies to obtain higher qualifications and implementing them will always convey success. 

Issued by: 

Department of Marketing, Branding & Communication 

University of Venda 
Tel: (015) 962 8525 /8710 
Date: 24 November 2021 

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