College of College of Graduate Studies

Growing capacity for ODeL research

At a recent College of Law (CLAW) event, Prof Christine Ofulue from the National Open University of Nigeria stated that Unisa can develop an agenda through identifying fields that are relevant to the open distance and e-learning (ODeL) context.

From left: Dr John Kole (Acting Deputy Executive Dean: College of Law), Prof Mfari Budeli (Acting Director: School of Law), Prof Amos Saurombe (Mercantile Department: College of Law), Prof Christine Ofulue (Director: Directorate of Research Administration and Advancement, National Open University of Nigeria), Prof Thenjiwe Meyiwa (Vice-Principal, Research, Postgraduate Studies, Innovation and Commercialisation) and Prof Tukishi Manamela (Acting Head: Graduate Studies and Research)

In his opening address, Prof Amos Saurombe (Mercantile Department) said that in order to remain relevant to its students, Unisa ought to differentiate to effectively cater to their broader needs that will vary from one student to the next. "As we move from ODL to ODeL, we must be cognisant that other universities are also moving in that direction, and some may be even be better than us in offering ODeL," he said. "The above factors necessitate change in how we teach our students. We must place our students at the core of our teaching and learning and collect student feedback in order to gather intelligence on how we can apply the best teaching and research methods."

Prof Christine Ofulue, Director of Research Administration and Advancement at the National Open University of Nigeria, stated that Unisa can develop an agenda through identifying fields that are relevant to the open distance and e-learning (ODeL) context. She said that the College of Law (CLAW) can look at its strength as a basis for developing an agenda in an ODeL context, or perhaps carry out research on the calibre of law students in an ODeL context. As Ofulue concluded, she indicated that it is important for CLAW to focus on that which will be relevant to its environment in order for research to add value to a given situation.

From left: Prof Gerhard Eiselen (Department of Private Law) and Lee Stone (Public Constitutional and International Law)

In her presentation on research methodology, Lee Stone said that students should be encouraged to opt for a postcolonial approach when carrying out their research, since it alienates itself from the western colonialist approach. She stated that adopting this modus operandi will encourage students to embrace African values such as Ubuntu. In conclusion she said that, in moving forward as a nation, we all need to decolonise ourselves psychologically and otherwise, since the effects of colonialism have spread and have affected all of us.

At the conclusion of the event Advocate Sipho Mantula gave an overview pertaining to elections in the African continent. He mentioned that in many instances there are challenges that surface during elections in Africa, and made special reference to what

Adv Sipho Mantula (Institute for Dispute Resolution in Africa)

transpired during Angola’s national elections. In closing, he said that amidst all challenges we face, it is important that we adopt an electorate model that is ideal to Africa rather than foreign models that do not resonate well with complexities within the African continent.

* Submitted by Winston Rampedi

Publish date: 2019/04/08