The Careers Exhibition and Information Association (CEIA) members expressed their vote of confidence to the Univen Schools Liaison Officer by electing him the new President of the Association at their Annual General Meeting and Congress held from 18 to 20 October 2017 at the Riverside Hotel, Durban.

The Careers Exhibition and Information Association (CEIA) National AGM and Congress is held once every year affording its members the opportunity to discuss strategies for student recruitment and financial aid opportunities, as well as to enhance a coordinated outreach plan for its member institutions. All members take turns in hosting the AGM and Congress, and as per the plan, this year’s event was hosted in Durban under the theme: “Education Tariff intolerance: How it affects Basic & Higher Education”.

The newly elected President of the Careers Exhibition and Information Association (CEIA) who is also the Schools Liaison Officer of the University of Venda, Mr Takalani Nyelisani (center) receives the certificate of appreciation awarded to Univen in recognition of successfully hosting the 2017 Careers Exhibition.

The Association currently has membership from South African Universities, Technical Vocational Education & Training Colleges, Private Colleges, Departments of Education nationally as well as in SADC Countries such as Swaziland and Lesotho.

During his acceptance speech, Nyelisani appealed to member institutions to work together in the interest of higher education and the association. “Let us start with those little things that do not mean much, because that is where solid relations in an organization start. They build strong foundations for collaborations and referrals. Whilst one would understand that we work for different institutions and have different targets, let us remember that our sole purpose is to serve an African child (the learner).”

Nyelisani continued, “Our organization will soon embody institutions that are beyond SADC; and I envisage that our membership will grow, and our service will spread throughout Africa soon. Most of us have national and international strategies to position our institutions. We need to start building effective relations amongst ourselves so that when we go out, we can be heard”.

“The SADC Protocol on Higher Education has made an appeal to Universities to accommodate as much as 5% of International students. We have also seen a host of foreign institutions already setting themselves up to operate in our turf. We will need to brighten our presence to ensure sustainability. This will require our vigilance to ensure sustainability of our institutions”, said Nyelisani.

The new executive committee of the Careers Exhibition and Information Association (CEIA) led by the newly-elected President Mr Takalani Nyelisani (second from right in front row).

Dr Ngogi Mahaye Regional Director for the KZN Department of Education Provincial Interventions in the office of the MEC of Education who delivered the keynote address

In the wake of globalization, Dr Mahaye suggests that universities have a pivotal role to play. “Our institutions of Higher Learning should assist us (DOE) to produce learners who are able to interact comfortably in a globalized and international setting; who would ultimately be able to work in foreign places and do business with people from diverse cultures. Our aim should be to shape our children into globalized citizens with a broad range of skills and knowledge to apply anywhere in the world”.

Prof Alfred Mvunyelwa Msomi delivering on the topic “How Student recruitment remain relevant in the midst of Higher Education fees intolerance”

Dean of the Faculty of Natural Sciences at Mangosuthu University of Technology, Professor A Msomi argued that student performance is critical in the funding of Higher Education Institutions. “Universities need to find students who can excel in the programmes and environment they offer. We need to develop sound relationships with faculty members in the development of recruitment strategies”. said Prof Msomi.

The Director for Communications and Marketing from Sefako Makgatho University presented under the topic, “Academic and Financial Exclusion and How it affects the education landscape”.

According to Dr Pule, South Africa has experienced a dramatic increase in the amount of protest actions in the last few years and our country is still struggling to win the battle against academic and financial exclusions of students. Students who fall victims are those coming from disadvantaged backgrounds and according to Universities South Africa (USAf), student enrolment has almost tripled since 1994 and the student body is more demographically representative.

“National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) allocations, despite increases, are not adequate to meet the needs of eligible students which raises the question of how increased enrolments were to be funded”. Pule suggests that “clear partnerships between university management, students, private entities, the government and community in general can come up with various fundraising strategies to accommodate more students at various institutions”.

Newly-elected President Mr Nyelisani posing with the Outgoing President Mr Bonginkosi Dladlama and hails from Vhembe TVET College.

Department of Education Umlazi District Director, Mr Bheki Ntuli addressing delegates

Representing the Department of Education, Umlazi District, Mr Ntuli was impressed by the work done by Schools Liaison Officers and Recruitment Officers. He acknowledged that they were aware of the bad conditions under which they work in order to access learners, especially in the rural areas. “Even with some urban areas, you encounter school principals who do not give you easy access to learners, but you persist. We will continue to support the work done by your Association because we believe that you are adding value to the future of our learners by giving them hope and exposure”.

Colleagues consulting and lobbying…Some of the delegates attending CEIA AGM and Congress during the election of the new executive committee.

Issued by:
Department of Communications & Marketing
University of Venda
Tel: (015) 962 8525
Date: 27 October 2017

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