WSU’S R13-MILLION FACULTY INVESTMENT
Walter Sisulu University’s Komani Campus has invested in excess of R13-million into a new faculty building that will accommodate the influx of keen students enrolling at the budding campus.
The new infrastructure erected at the Grey Street site will accommodate students registered in the Faculty of Economics as well as Information Technology Services which amount to 2700 students, with the numbers expected to rise in 2019.
Komani campus rector, Prof McGlory Speckman, said the need for more lecture halls was felt even before the designation of the site as a faculty. This is a consequence of the large numbers registered in commerce-related programmes over the years.
“The current phase of development which I would like to regard as the first phase, cost the University in excess of R13-million. If funds were enough at the time the tender went out, it would have been in excess of R18-million. We have had to scale down on some of the plans to make the new buildings 4IR compatible from the outset and we are hoping to add these as time goes on,” added Speckman.
The campus had also identified Information and Communication Technology (ICT) as its niche area of study.
“While ICT is offered elsewhere in the institution, our approach is different. We have researchers that are taking this to a higher level by looking into fields such as Robotics and Artificial Intelligence which is supposed to be in everything but is not accorded the importance it deserves,” Speckman said.
We expect about 400 students to graduate in 2019 although most of them have re-registered to further their studies.
Speckman has an even greater vision for the Komani campus which promises growth in leaps and bounds.
“The vision we submitted to the institution is three-fold: first is the expansion of the infrastructure. We hope to migrate to a new site once the formalities have been completed and some buildings erected. This infrastructure will be a much bigger campus with a number of faculties in one place,” he said.
Speckman also added that the University was researching the possibility of a Faculty of Arts at the new site with a focus on Visual Arts, African Heritage Studies and other neglected African fields.
By: Sinawo Hermans