DC Linda Bond, Professors Nicolien du Preez and Johan Kriel shared a light moment during the DCS and UNISA luncheon at the institution’s Brooklyn campus.
In a clear statement of intent, and to give practical meaning to the objectives of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between DCS and UNISA, the two partners convened a luncheon on 9 November 2018 at the UNISA Brooklyn Campus in Pretoria, to assess progress with the implementation of the MoU.
The session, which was preceded by a Restorative Justice Colloquium held on 03 September 2018, reflected on the successes achieved, and explored opportunities for further collaboration. The terms of the MoU include facilitating the registration of officials for various learning programmes offered by UNISA, and exploring areas for collaborative research.
Deputy Commissioner HR Development, Linda Bond said the MoU was an ideal launching pad to steer the department towards being a professional, efficient and impactful institution as envisaged in the recently released Strategic Planning Report. “The session was useful in exposing what our relationship with the university entails, and identify opportunities to optimise our relationship,” she said.
The Director Research, Dr Sibusisiwe Bengu, presented on how the two partners can embark on mutually beneficial research projects. She said DCS has an important role in setting the research agenda about matters of corrections and it would want to pursue joint research on key areas identified in the DCS Strategic Planning Report.
Professor Thabiso Matshaba reported that 100 DCS officials out of over 300 who applied for undergraduate and postgraduate studies in Corrections Management and Criminology have been accepted. An overwhelming majority of the applicants are from the Free State and Northern Cape region, some of whom gained direct access to the university, while others qualified through the recognition of prior learning (RPL) process.
Professor Johan Kriel highlighted the importance of continual engagement between the two parties and said it will be beneficial to constantly review and update its course curricula to adequately respond to realities in the corrections industry. Professor Nicolien du Preez underscored the important role of the Research Advisory Board, which is constituted by members from DCS and the university, in crafting and evaluating the implementation plan that is aligned to the objectives of the MoU.