The University of Venda through the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS), University of Pretoria, undertook a training for its Senior managers on Leadership Development programme that aims to ensure that there is proper capacity building for employees to safeguard a seamless process of succession management. The leadership and management development programmes were developed in collaboration with various institutions that are already in the space of leadership, management, and executive management development programmes.

UNIVEN Senior Managers posing for a photo after GIBS handing over of certificates ceremony

The programme came to conclusion through the handing over of certificates, graduation that took place at GIBS Campus in Johannesburg on Wednesday, 22 May 2024.

The University of Venda (UNIVEN) Registrar, Dr Joel Baloyi as the keynote speaker during the graduation ceremony at GIBS campus elaborated on the phrase “Non scholae sed vitae discimus” which translates to -“we learn for life and not for the classroom,” a phrase that emphasises practical education rather than just mastering literature.

Leadership education should focus on preparing leaders to tackle the complex scenarios faced by society and organisations in today’s VUCA and BANI worlds. The University Registrar underscores that leaders must have vision, understanding, clarity, and agility, as well as the ability to think in different boxes simultaneously and generate integrated solutions that impact present problems and consider long-term sustainability. He mentioned that this requires agile thinking, decision-making, strong teams, integrated thinking, and value alignment.

Dr Joel Baloyi

Dr Baloyi maintained that traditional problem-solving paradigms, such as design thinking and systems thinking, are no longer sufficient. He indicated that universities must also address issues related to access to higher education, such as academic exclusion, student financial aid, quality assurance, regulatory requirements, and good governance. He cited that the Gordon Institute of Business Science, a world-class business school, is a prime example of a world-class institution that has a strong reputation for excellence.

Dr Takalani Dzaga, Director Marketing, Branding and Communication (on the left photo), shared the leadership development programme journey from the participant’s perspective, emphasising the importance of a human-centered approach, fostering a culture of learning, and promoting ethical conduct. He highlighted the distinction between leading and managing people, accenting the importance of emotional intelligence, delegating responsibilities, and ensuring psychological safety.He said the training also highlighted the importance of being positive, communicating for impact, and conducting performance reviews more frequently. Dr Dzaga also spoke about the design thinking principles,
encouraging colleagues to follow acceptable standards to solve complex problems. Collaboration was also emphasised, particularly the promotionof collaboration rather than competition. He stressed that the value of the investment in the training would soon be realised and committed to the University Executive Management to ensure the successful implementation of the University Strategy, using the skills acquired through the training.
Dr Sannah Mativandlela, Director Institutional Planning and Quality Assurance (on the right photo in the previous page) pointed out that the UNIVEN Leadership Development Programme aims to improve higher education performance and student outcomes by addressing challenges and complexities. She stated that as Senior Managers, the programme enhances leadership skills and expands knowledge within the University’s strategic objectives. Dr Mativandlela highlighted the importance of learning-in-action assessments to assess one’s competence and excellence. She alluded that the programme aims to foster a deep understanding of the University’s mission, values, and long-term objectives among departmental leaders.

On behalf UNIVEN, Mr Matamela Matibe, Training and Development Practitioner (on the photo above) ,expressed a vote of thanks. In his remarks, he expressed profound gratitude and extend a heartfelt appreciation on this momentous occasion of the graduation ceremony for UNIVEN Senior Managers who have successfully completed the Leadership Development Programme at the prestigious Gordon Institute of Business Science. Mr Matibe said that he has learnt that senior managers should not be defined by their titles, position and status-but humility, honesty and ‘Vhuthu.’ He expressed appreciation to GIBS team for having played a vital role in making this Leadership Development Programme a success. “Your guidance, wisdom and support have been precious in shaping the minds and capabilities of our university’s future leaders. Your commitment to excellence and dedication to nurturing talent have not gone unnoticed,” Mr Matibe highlighted. On behalf of GIBS Jayshree Naidoo when facilitating the programme, expressed a deep appreciation to
UNIVEN for choosing GIBS to offer this training to its leaders and hoped for a continued healthy relationship between GIBS and UNIVEN.

Issued by:
Department of Marketing, Branding and Communication
University of Venda
Cell: 082 868 2218 or 082 868 1811


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