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Membership bolsters Faculty’s standing

by Gerrit Bester


The international standing of the Faculty of Arts and Design at the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) has received a significant boost following it obtaining membership of the Cumulus association. This association is a premier global network that brings together art and design educational institutions of higher learning to foster collaboration and knowledge exchange in pedagogy, research and practice. This forms a community that leads by design and promotes the role of designers and artists in creating sustainable and humane futures for all.


“One of the benefits of Cumulus membership is being part of a student-centred global community dedicated to promoting diversity, equity and inclusion in all programmes. There is a focus on building connections that overlap through avenues of communication, collaboration and community,” says Prof Nalini Moodley, Executive Dean.

"Another benefit for the Faculty is that Cumulus has ongoing working groups via live talks, symposiums, conferences and collaborative projects where staff and students have the opportunity to widen their network, share and gain knowledge and expertise."

Some working groups include: Art and Design Teacher Education and Pedagogy; Bio Design; Business Industry and Innovation; Contemporary Art; Design for Sustainability; Design Culture; Fashion and Textile; Healthcare and Wellbeing; Leadership and Strategy; New Eating Habits; Women in Design, etc.

“Our students will also have the opportunity to participate in international residency programmes and exchanges,” adds Prof Moodley.

The membership process, managed by Schalk van Staden, lecturer at the Department of Visual Communication, was preceded by a lengthy application process that included two recommendation letters from current Cumulus members in different countries.

Based on the profile of the TUT Faculty of Arts and Design, Van Staden managed to secure letters of recommendation from Prof Andreas Sicklinger from the University of Bologna, Italy, and Mr Lefteris Heretakis of the New Art School, in Valencia, Spain.

In 2022, the application was subjected to an extensive review process by the Cumulus board and associates. In June, new applicants had to participate in the Cumulus New Members’ Fair. At this fair, Van Staden and Herman Botes, Head of the Department of Visual Communication, participated in discussion groups about higher education teaching and learning, design, student matters and related academic and organisational complexities, and provided insight about the Faculty and TUT.


"Nominees participated in the Cumulus General Assembly, reviewed organisational documents, and voted for new board members. Our application was tabled at this forum for the last review. In July 2022, we received notice of a successful outcome of our application, and we can now proudly say that TUT is a Cumulus member," says Van Staden.




For more information, please visit https://cumulusassociation.org/



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