University of Johannesburg gets over $400,000 to drive digital overhaul in SA's technical colleges

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February 26, 2024
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2 min read
University of Johannesburg
  • The University of Johannesburg (UJ) has received a European Union grant worth over  R8.1 million ($417,435.49) to support a digital transformation initiative in South African Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges.
  • Erasmus+, a European Union programme focused on education, training, youth, and sport, provided the funding for the grant.
  • This project aims to address emerging challenges and opportunities due to the emergence of artificial intelligence tools such as ChatGPT in education and communication.

This initiative, dubbed "Project Pro-TELDE (Promotion of Technology-Enhanced Learning and Digital Education)," according to Professor Tankiso Moloi, Research Chair in 4IR at the Johannesburg Business School, UJ, will empower South African TVET lecturers in business and economics by helping them create digital teaching resources by leveraging open digital sources using technology-enhanced learning (TEL) methods. 

Moloi continued, "Project Pro-TELDE recognises the need for TVET institutions to equip their students with digital skills and competencies essential for success in the modern workplace."

The University of Johannesburg has been ranked sixth among African universities for its research performance in AI. The school announced in December 2022 that it would make artificial intelligence courses mandatory for all qualifications offered at the learning institution.

Additionally, to enhance security aspects associated with the certification procedure, the university introduced blockchain-based certificates for its graduates to thwart fraud and end counterfeiting. 

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This means that the issued qualification document will have a QR code specific to the holder, and anybody can scan it to confirm the details on the certificate.

Furthermore, South Africa has been consistent in its adoption of AI across a variety of industries. In November 2022, the government established the Artificial Intelligence Institute of South Africa (AIISA), collaborating with the University of Johannesburg and the Tshwane University of Technology, to promote AI technologies, increase human capital investment, and prepare for a digital future.

The nation was ranked fourth globally for best educational systems and first among Africa's most technologically advanced countries in 2023.  

 South Africa had 43.48 million Internet users at the beginning of 2023, making up 72.3% of the country's Internet penetration.


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