DUT CONTINUES TO INTERNATIONALISE ITS CURRICULUM
*Caption:The International Office and Journalism Programme staff welcome Prof Aashish Kumar
Written by: Xolisani Khumalo
The Durban University of Technology’s (DUT) International Office officially welcomed Professor Aashish Kumar who is in the country as a Fulbright scholar to share his expertise and experiences with DUT students.
Professor Kumar is from Hofstra University, New York, whose specialties include documentary film, advocacy media, community and participatory video.
Although Prof Kumar will be with DUT for six weeks, he is open to the idea of “at least developing a prototype that would enable students to learn more about participatory approaches”.
“A part of what I’m doing here is seeing what projects can we do, even in a small amount of time, to at least develop a prototype,” explained Kumar.
Kumar also added that the participatory approaches are different to the traditional or the industrial model of doing things.
“We want to have students learn about more participatory approaches with journalism and filmmaking than you might otherwise been introduced to or what might otherwise be the industrial model.”
He will be working closely with the Journalism Programme at DUT.
The head of the Media, Language and Communication Department, Ayesha Mall, explained to JournalismIziko what Kumar’s stay means to her department.
“He had various institutions as options but he picked DUT because he saw that his expertise and experience would land themselves very well with what we offer in the journalism programme,” said Mall.
According to Dr Lavern Samuels, Director for International Education at DUT, international visitors including those of Kumar are a response to DUT’s strategic plan.
“It’s about internationalising the curriculum. Academic mobility used to be the corner stone of internationalisation but increasingly we have realised that only a small percentage of our students and staff can have exposure internationally through travel,” said Dr Samuels.
A student from the Journalism Programme who has had the chance to sit in Kumar’s classes testified to Dr Samuels’ statement.
“His teaching style is very interactive, unorthodox and very helpful as most things we learn from him are on par with the international level I would say,” said Venal Naidu, a second year Journalism student.