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WINNER: NATIONAL BUSINESS OF THE YEAR
South Africa’s most affordable Higher Education Institution, Richfield Graduate Institute of Technology (RGIT) has won the National Business of the Year Award. The ceremony was held on 16 November 2017 at Emperors Palace, Gauteng, and marked the 15th anniversary of the National Business Awards. The evening’s most prestigious accolade was awarded to Richfield before a host of business and government leaders, VIPs and media representatives. Also watching the presentation ceremony were thousands of South Africans whose engagement, via live social media updates, kept the awards trending for several hours.
Richfield is South Africa’s respected leader in providing affordable and technologically-enhanced learning. Richfield began in 1990, as PC Training and Business College in Tongaat, KwaZulu-Natal, as a small enterprise. At that time hardly anyone knew the term “e-learning”, or how big it was to become. Since then, this pioneering company has evolved in tune with the explosion of digital across almost three decades, to becoming the knowledge powerhouse it is today, with 33 higher education campuses and 40 TVET campuses countrywide.
Having recently won several international awards in Oxford (UK), Geneva (Switzerland), Rome (Italy) and London (UK), ranging from “perfection, quality and ideal performance” to “sustainability, quality achievements and technology integration”, it was therefore not surprising that Richfield took SA’s top business award for 2017. The Institution is registered with the Department of Higher Education as a Private Further and Higher Education and Training Provider under the Further Education and Training Colleges Act, 2006 and the Higher Education Act, 1997, respectively. The Institution is accredited by the Council on Higher Education (CHE), Umalusi and numerous SETAs. It is also aligning itself to the Quality Council on Trades and Occupations (QCTO).
PARTNERSHIP WITH STATE UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK
On 26 May 2018, Richfield Graduate Institute of Technology hosted a visiting professor, Prof Krista Rodriguez, from Monroe Community College, State University of New York. Prof Rodriguez provided an in-depth lecture on Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) and provided opportunities for the students of RGIT. She explained that it is now possible for students across various continents to interact
with each other and to collaborate on projects that may be required for Work Integrated Learning (WIL) compliance. In her address, Prof Krista Rodriguez said, “I truly am excited about the work and have found that my collaborations have energised me to venture outside my comfort zone and embrace innovative ideas and methodologies. Just being here in South Africa is a new adventure and I so appreciate your support for this opportunity.”
IBM AFRICA IBM’s Africa Skills Initiative is a skills development programme that aims to develop the Africa IT ecosystem with world-class skills. The global multinational technology giant, IBM, is partnering with Richfield to develop the next generation of technical talent in Africa and beyond by making Richfield a hub for next-generation market-driven skills. Students and staff of Richfield are set to benefit, with advanced hands-on skills in a range of Information Technology courses such as Cyber Security, Mobile Application Development, Business Analytics, Cloud, Big Data technologies, Internet of Things, Block chain, etc., which are crucial to Africa’s social and economic development. This IBM-Richfield partnership programme will provide Richfield students with critical entry-level job skills that are in high demand by employers in South Africa and beyond.
South African Society for cooperative Education (SASCE) hosted the 3rd WIL Africa Conference from 18-20 July 2018 at the Coastlands Hotel and Conference Centre, Umhlanga, Durban. Richfield Graduate Institute of Technology was a major sponsor of this Conference. The WIL Africa conference is a premium event on Cooperative Education and Work Integrated Learning (WIL).
The Conference theme this year was “WIL: Policy to Implementation”.
The conference explored:
- WIL successes, challenges and creating solutions
- Integrating perspectives to enhance employability
- WIL curriculum issues including assessment and decolonisation of education
Richfield sees WIL as an integral part of programme design and development. RGIT reviews its programmes twice annually at the Curriculum Innovation, Design and Development (CIDD) Forum. The members of CIDD are subject matter specialists from external Public and Private Institutions as well as industry experts.
The South African government strongly supports WIL and the White Paper for Post-School Education and Training (2013) states: “Universities should seek to build strong partnerships with employers in order to promote the expansion of workplace training opportunities… emphasis will be given to strengthening partnerships with employers...”
Some of the outcomes of the conference were:
- Capacity development of TVET practitioners with respect to the areas of WIL implementation
- Building an understanding of the legislative environments that impact WIL implementation
- Shared perspectives around working partnership models between TVET colleges and industry
- Building an understanding of the preparation of students for their transition into the world of work
According to Jay Ramnundlall, CEO of Richfield, “In order to facilitate WIL, the Institution introduced the Work Readiness Programme (WRP) in 2011. The Life Skills for Work Readiness Module is compulsory and a pre-requisite to the Work Integrated Learning Module. Richfield has implemented a compulsory tailormade Work Readiness Module designed and created for students to ensure that they are adequately equipped for the workplace and empowered for life in general. The programme covers aspects such as Self-Management Skills, Social and Emotional Skills.”
AAA SCHOOL OF ADVERTISING
The AAA School of Advertising has become the recipient of extensive financial and academic support from one of South Africa’s prominent higher education institutions. According to a recent announcement, the Association for Communication and Advertising NPC (ACA) has agreed to sell its shareholding in the AAA School of Advertising (AAA) to acclaimed training provider, Richfield.
The AAA is a leader in higher education and, with the backing of Richfield, is set to enter the future stronger. Commenting on the transaction, Jay Ramnundlall said, “The AAA is a leader in higher education and with the backing of Richfield, is set to enter the future stronger and bolder than ever before.”
With a view toward cementing its position as a leader in higher education, Richfield has focused on partnerships and affiliations across a number of diverse industries. The private provider now aims to expand its presence within the advertising sector. “It is with great anticipation that we add the marketing, advertising and communications sector to our wide-ranging offering and continue delivering highly qualified individuals that employers in the sector require and have become accustomed to receiving from the AAA.”