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UKZN and University of Mauritius Host Doctoral Colloquium

SMIG delegates at the Doctoral Colloquium in Mauritius (from left): Professor Micheline Naude, Dr Upasana Singh, and Dr Thokozani Mbhele.

UKZN and University of Mauritius Host Doctoral Colloquium

UKZN partnered with the University of Mauritius in hosting a Doctoral Colloquium, themed Student Wellness – a Critical Component of a fulfilling Doctoral Journey, aimed at equipping PhD students with global approaches in their PhD journey.

Representatives from the School of Management, IT and Governance included Professor Micheline Naude, Academic Leader: Marketing and Supply Chain Management; Professor Manoj Maharaj, Discipline of Information Systems and Technology; Dr Thokozani Mbhele, lecturer in Supply Chain Management and Dr Upasana Singh, Academic Leader and Senior lecturer in Information Systems and Technology.

Maharaj noted that benchmarking UKZN graduates with other institutions is in line with UKZN’s Strategic Plan on targeted internationalisation: ‘International exposure gives students the opportunity to present their work in a “non-threatening” environment to gain valuable feedback that strengthens their doctoral studies.’

Mbhele observed that, ‘The Colloquium was an opportunity for UKZN doctoral students to develop their presentation skills and to expand their network with other students and experienced scholars, possibly kick-starting collaborations for publications.’ Doctoral candidates Ms Remofilwe Tlhabudugwane and Ms Michelle Ndiweni were part of the students supervised by Mbhele who submitted their abstracts and had outstanding presentations at the colloquium. This also included a PhD candidate in UKZN’s School of Education Mr Luthando Molefe who presented on the topic, Exploring Teacher Mentorship: Narratives of Three Early-Career Natural Sciences Teachers in Selected School Quintiles.

Molefe commented: ‘I am grateful to exchanging ideas with other researchers from different corners of the world and creating network systems through this colloquium.’

Singh participated in a panel discussion on mental wellbeing for PhD students which advocated for the need to set boundaries in relation to digital devices. ‘It is vital to set clear boundaries regarding when and how digital devices will be used for academic purposes, personal use, and relaxation. Allocate specific time slots for focused study and research without digital distractions,’ she said.

The UKZN delegation also visited the Open University of Mauritius where Maharaj and Mbhele presented topics on their specialisations. This opened an opportunity to amend their MoU to collaborate in developing the Master of Science (MSc) Procurement and Supply Chain Management.

Words: Ayanda Radebe

Photograph: Supplied