The Centre of Excellence for Nutrition celebrates commendation after external evaluation

Belinda Bantham -- Fri, 02/01/2019 - 11:13

The Centre of Excellence for Nutrition celebrates commendation after external evaluation

The North-West University (NWU) has once again confirmed its status as a leading and innovative university by obtaining international commendation for two master’s programmes within the Centre for Excellence in Nutrition (CEN).


The structured master’s degrees in nutrition and dietetics exceeded the expectations of the evaluation panel, and in the process became only the second master’s programme at the NWU ever to achieve commendation.

Overall, such high commendation has only been previously extended to other programmes at the NWU over the course of 10 years. Aspects that came to the fore during the evaluation included good governance, merit in balancing teaching-learning and research, as well as the centre’s overall standing within academia and the industry.

Heading up the review was an international panel of experts, including the likes of Prof Edith Feskins (Wageningen University), Dr Matilda Asante (University of Ghana), Prof Louise van den Berg (University of Free State), Prof Frederick Veldsman (Sefako Makgatho Health Science University), Ms Duduzile Mthuli (Unilever) and Mr Gilbert Tshitaudzi (Department of Health).

According to Ms Antoinette Vermeulen, manager in the Quality Enhancement office, the panel communicated the following comments in their feedback to the Centre: It is not easy to excel in teaching-learning and research, but academic staff in the programme are striving to do so. The panel commended the strong leadership of the executive dean (Prof Awie Kotzé), the deputy dean (Prof Jeanetta du Plessis), CEN director (Prof Marius Smuts) and the programme coordinator (Prof Marlien Pieters). The enthusiasm and commitment of everyone involved in the Centre were also noted.

In response to the commendation, Prof Marius Smuts, director of the centre, said that this achievement would not have been possible without the hard work and dedication of the CEN staff members over many years, as well as excellent leadership, support and infrastructure provide by the Faculty of Health Sciences.

* The CEN is one of four centres of excellence at the NWU and the only one of its kind in Africa. Through impactful and dynamic research the centre aims to enhance the quality of life by investigating nutrition and food throughout the human life-cycle.