The University of the Free State (UFS) will provide critical mentoring and coaching for young academics in support of their career progression to senior academic levels.
The programme, called the Transformation of the Professoriate Mentoring Programme, was first launched in the second semester of 2019 where two groups were chosen to participate.
The university said the programme will focus on the holistic development of the skills and attributes of emerging scholars in the core functions of teaching and learning, research, community engagement, and academic leadership in preparation for their roles as future professors and academic leaders.
“I am most excited about the opportunity to be part of the transformation of the Professoriate and will be part of it for at least three years,” said Public Law lecturer, Dr Clive Vinti.
Vinti said he thinks the programme is fundamental to the progression to the post of professor for young academics since it seeks to eliminate barriers to this promotion.
“The programme provides a diverse range of support activities to prepare young academics for the complexity of academic careers,” said manager of the mentoring programme, Dr Henriëtte Van den Berg.
Van den Berg said this programme was especially important during 2020, amidst the constraints of COVID restrictions, virtual teaching and learning and remote learning.
UFS said the programme currently has 75 participants, representing all faculties.
“I am optimistic about the future of the institution when I look at the quality of young academics that were selected for the programme,” said Dr Van den Berg.