The Durban University of Technology and Lenovo South Africa will launch the country’s first Lenovo Innovation Centre; a state of the art walk-in centre aimed at increasing the University’s interactivity with the latest technology.
The launch will take place on Wednesday, 8 October 2014 at the BM Patel Library, DUT ML Sultan Campus, at 12h00pm where the Innovation Centre will be located.
Conceptualised roughly nine months ago, the Innovation Centre is aligned to Student Centredness; one of the two major threads in the University’s strategic plan. The Innovation Centre is also aligned to the University’s trajectory on online learning, with 50 percent of its (DUT) programmes set to be on an e-learning platform by January 2015.
Already, 23 percent of the courses offered at DUT have some level of e-learning incorporated in them, students and staff have access to WIFI on campus, the University’s Ed Tech Division is providing academics with programmes to improve their skills in producing e-learning courses, tablets can be loaned for use inside the BM Patel Library and students can borrow laptops from all DUT libraries. e-Readers are also available on a loaning system from the University’s libraries, which also have 204 000 titles in e-book form accessible to lecturers and students from wherever they are.
“The need for technology in the universities has always been a grey area plagued by limited budgets and excessive requirements,” said Graham Braum, Lenovo Africa General Manager. “Lenovo feels that technology should be part of our everyday lives, and not be seen as a ‘nice to have’. Technology is what will take this country forward and we, as enablers, would like to enable our future leaders. Lenovo has had some firsthand experience with fresh graduates from universities across South Africa who joined us for our 2014 intern programme, and the one thing that was identified was the limited exposure to technology. So how do we expose our future leaders? We create an environment with IT abundance,” he said.
Dilip Jeena, Client Services Manager within DUT’s IT Support Services Department, said the Innovation Centre has been provided to the University at zero cost. Lenovo, together with its technology partner Intel, will enable the Innovation Centre with a multitude of devices, ranging from Thinkpad, Thinkcentre All in One, Ideapad, Multi-mode Yoga tablets and Yoga laptops. “This Innovation Centre will assist students and staff in familiarising themselves in the use of the latest technology to gain access to various online content that is being developed on the e-learning platform. This would also educate them in the use of these various products and help them when seeking employment. With the rapid evolution of technology and the limited finances available to higher education institutions, the sponsorship of this Innovation Centre is well received,” said Jeena.
Braum said DUT will be the first SA University to be rolled out with the Innovation Centre, adding that the company has already been in communication with other IT leaders at other universities in the country with regards to the company’s intention to activate more Innovation Centres.
The details of the event are as follows:
Date: Wednesday, 8 October 2014
Venue: BM Patel Library, DUT ML Sultan Campus
For more information or comment, please contact Soren Aalto, ITSS Director at DUT on 083 262 1869 or Brent Samuel, Education Lead Lenovo South Africa on 083 304 4380.
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