College of Science, Engineering & Technology

Work-based placement at four South African mining schools

Lucky Maseko

Lucky Maseko of Unisa’s Department of Electrical and Mining Engineering initially presented a paper on work-integrated learning (WIL) at a conference organised by the Society of Mining Professors last year. According to his colleague, Prof François Mulenga, it drew so much interest amongst the delegates that it was upgraded to a scientific article published with the Journal of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy in December 2018.

As part of the mining engineering curriculum, as in many other fields that provide professional qualifications, students are required to be placed in industry for vacation work or WIL. In A review of work-integrated learning in South African mining engineering universities, Maseko evaluated work-based placement as done at the four South African mining schools: the University of Johannesburg, the University of Pretoria, the University of the Witwatersrand and the University of South Africa.

The paper highlights key aspects of past and current WIL (pre- and post-graduation) practices that may need attention by all universities that provide professional qualifications. It also discusses work-directed theoretical learning, problem-based learning, project-based learning, workplace learning and simulated work experiences as legitimate approaches to WIL.

Maseko concludes that commitments of universities, preparedness of university teachers, and the desire for equity and excellence play an important role in the provision of WIL.

* Compiled by Sharon Farrell, Editor: Internal Communication, Department of Institutional Advancement

Publish date: 2019/02/20