Central University of Technology, Free State (CUT) Vice-Chancellor and Principal Prof. Henk de Jager has urged students to develop themselves beyond their set of qualifications in order to be more competent and be ready to tackle any challenges they may face in the workplace.
Addressing a student roadshow at the Centre for Innovation in Learning and Teaching (CILT) at the university last week, De Jager said today’s work environment is in demand of graduates who not only possess qualifications, but also possess interdisciplinary skills, also known as soft skills.
A statement issued by the university quotes him urging students to prepare themselves for the changing work environment and not be limited to their qualifications.
De Jager said these attributes are the softer skills gained from the learning programmes, extra-curricular, co-curricular, sporting and cultural activities. “If you have and possess these skills, you will succeed in your life and they will remain with you forever”
The attributes include integrity, diversity, innovation, excellence and customer service. The Vice-Chancellor said these would help the students succeed in their careers and social lives.
“We don’t want you to just graduate, we want you to be much more than graduates. We want you to live these values, have integrity, excel in your work, think outside the box and be innovative, have good customer service and be diverse. Each one of you might not know it but you are all creative in your own special way and it is important for us as a university to unlock your potential and instil these graduate attributes in you. I want you to tell yourself that you will commit to your studies and unlock your creativity,” he noted.
De Jager explained that every university exists to serve its students and CUT is no different, as it puts the needs of students first.
“As a university, we need to assist students to graduate and play a critical role in improving the lives of the society. We are here because of you and we need to serve and support you. The Centre for Innovation in Learning and Teaching has been established to support you in your studies and as management, we value the importance of these graduate attributes,” he added.