NWU Vaal set to redefine the future of professional HR in South Africa

Annette Willemse -- Fri, 01/30/2015 - 13:28

NWU Vaal set to redefine the future of professional HR in South Africa

The Vaal Triangle Campus of the North-West University (NWU Vaal) is set on delivering upon its intend to make 2015, a year of impact. This year sees the first-ever intake of students for the master’s degree in Human Resource Management (HR).

 A stringent selection process in 2014, saw five students making the final cut for what is being described as an “innovative and excellence driven” academic programme. 

Facilitators, lecturers and students involved in the new master's degree programme in Human Resource Management

According to Dr Elrie Botha, the Director of the School of Behavioural Sciences – in which this postgraduate degree is hosted, is of the opinion that the outcome of this new degree programme will not only influence the sector as a whole, but also set new benchmarking standards – both nationally and internationally. “We believe that the time is right to ask what we, as HR professionals, can contribute towards the overall betterment of our profession,” says Dr Botha and adds that HR remains one of the most crucial building blocks within the business environment and as such has a direct influence on the profit margins of any industry.

“When putting together this postgraduate degree, we wanted to expose students to the best our country has to offer and therefore we hand-selected our facilitators and study leaders to ensure quality and impact,” explains Dr Botha and adds that the degree facilitators are all held in high regard for their influence within the sector. “We want to take the HR profession to the next level, and we will do so by going beyond the so-called study guide – or prescribed, route. Only the best is good enough for tomorrow’s leaders.”

Researchers and practitioners to give inputs

According to Prof Marius Stander, researcher and lecturer within the School of Behavioural Sciences – and an honorary member of the Society of Industrial and Organisational Psychology of South Africa (SIOPSA), explains that a two-pronged approach will be followed. The first part of the curriculum will include a research paper whilst the second part will focus on HR strategy. With regards to the research component, two NRF-rated researchers from the Optentia research group on Campus – Prof Ian Rothmann and Prof Tumi Khumalo, will act as facilitators.

Several industry experts have been roped in to act as facilitators, they include: Mr Marius Meyer (CEO of the South African Board for People Practices [SABPP], the professional body for HR practitioners and statutory Education and Training Quality Assurance Body for HR in South Africa);  Mr Mauritz Pretorius (Principal: Strategy and Change at Barclays Africa Group Limited); Mr Henry Chandler (Head of Talent Sourcing and Planning and the leader of High Potential Talent Development initiatives at the Sasol Group), Mr Sandile Khwela (Group HR Director, AfriSam), Dr Mark Bussin (Chairperson: 21st Century Pay Solutions Group (PTY) Ltd) and Ms Rhandu Nqubane (Senior Manager HR Operations at the Sasol Group). The aspects these facilitators will focus on, include:

  • HR and Risk Management;
  • HR and Strategic Planning;
  • HR and Leadership Development;
  • HR and Talent Management and;
  • Operational HR.