South Africa’s tough economic conditions, combined with limited space at public universities, is seeing thousands of students opt for distance learning annually. Students who need to earn while they learn, and people already in employment who need to upskill to boost their career prospects, consider distance learning an effective way to further their education.
But distance learning comes with very unique challenges, and anyone considering it should make sure that they tackle this life-changing project with a strategy that will ensure their ultimate success, an education expert says.
“Distance learning is a great way to further your career or get the qualifications you need to enter the job market, but it requires the same, if not more, discipline as full-time study,” says Elbie Liebenberg, Principal at Oxbridge Academy, which serves more than 20 000 South African distance learning students every year.
She says before embarking on the distance learning route, prospective students should get in the right headspace, and make sure that they have the structures in place that will enable them to balance the demands of their studies with their personal and work lives.
“You have to ask yourself some tough questions, and be honest with yourself. If you find that you come up short in one or all of these areas, you need to address them first, which will leave you better equipped and empowered to achieve your goals,” she says.
Liebenberg says prospective students should consider the following:
ARE YOU ORGANISED?
Making a success of distance learning centres a huge amount on being able to keep balls in the air and admin sorted. You need to plan your days, your assignments and tests. If you are not the list-making, diary-scheduling type, it is a good idea to start implementing basic planning principles into your daily and work life. Once you feel in control in these areas, you can transfer your newly acquired skill to the planning required for distance learning.
ARE YOU DISCIPLINED?
Having plans and programmes in place are great, but it is no good to be a good planner if you can’t stick to the plan, says Liebenberg.
If you are studying on your own, and are not part of a contact lecture environment, it is up to you to keep up with things. Make sure you schedule at least 2-3 hours daily to do you reading and studying, work on assignments, and prepare for tests. If you consistently wait until a few days before the test or assignment deadline to get going, things are soon going to pile up and spiral out of control. A daily, consistent effort is required in distance learning.
ARE YOU ABLE TO FOCUS ON YOUR GOALS AND THE BIG PICTURE?
Quality distance learning institutions have the support structures and interactive online environments that didn’t exist in years past, and which make a significant difference to the success of students. However, at the end of the day, distance learning students need to be able to focus on why they started in the first place, and be able to visualise and work towards their goals. It is easy to get lost in and overwhelmed by the twin demands of keeping distance learning admin under control while also excelling in your studies – particularly if you don’t see your fellow students grappling with the same issues. It is therefore important to make use of the support and collaboration opportunities that good distance learning institutions will have in place, while constantly reminding yourself of the better future you are building.
ARE YOU AMBITIOUS AND MOTIVATED?
Do not sign up for a distance learning qualification if you are simply making a half-hearted attempt to add a qualification to your CV. A quality distance learning qualification is just as respected by employers as one from a full-time contact institution, but that means that the demands on students must equally be so if the fruits of the labour are to be enjoyed.
If you are serious about your life and your career, then distance learning is a fantastic option which will bring significant rewards upon graduation, but it is not to be considered a second-rate option for those who are not committed to making a success of their studies.
“When things get tough for distance students, they often opt to just throw in the towel and disappear,” says Liebenberg.
“But these students and prospective students should know that just like at contact institutions, good distance learning providers will have ample resources to assist them in making a success of their studies if they can commit to seeing things through.”
She says students should not underestimate the intellectual demands of distance learning, and should make sure that they effectively structure their studies.
“Throw yourself into your studies and take every advantage of the opportunities provided by your institution, to ensure you banish any feelings of isolation and engage fully with your chosen field, your tutors and your future peers,” she says.
I heart Market moves to Ballito’s Sugar Rush Park
In time for the Festive Season KZN’s much-loved I heart Market makes a new permanent home up the North Coast at popular family entertainment venue – Sugar Rush Park in Ballito – with the season dates confirmed for 3, 10, 17 December 2022 and 7 January 2023 from 08:30 to 14:00.
Situated next to Collisheen Estate, Sugar Rush Park is a hive of family-friendly activities. It serves as an activity hub and the base for Holla Trails – a network of biking, running or walking trails that go through the sugar cane fields.
Sugar Rush Park, also has a restaurant -Food Fundi, a kids’ play area, mini-train, the Ndlondlo reptile park, The Jump Park, the Tree Trails obstacle course and Park Run every Saturday morning.
Anna Savage, the market’s owner /manager explains the move, “The I heart Market is a local business hub, and our business is based on the success of small business enterprises. We have an obligation to provide the best sales opportunity for our traders and at the same time create a relaxed, fun day out for everyone.”
“As a result, we have made a bold decision to move to Ballito, as we needed to find a venue that could provide us with the security of a long-term lease, and a vibrant well-kept venue that has additional family-friendly activities that our customers can enjoy. We have found the perfect venue at Sugar Rush Park. We realize that this move is a big jump in terms of location and that it may be far for some of our regular customers. But we can guarantee a great day out to those who can travel north, and make a day of it by taking advantage of the other activities available.”
The I heart Market has a reputation for supporting artisanal crafters, artists, and traders, offering fine, handmade goods that include jewellery, accessories, leather goods, ceramics, visual arts, décor, clothing, deli foods bakery goods including breads, pastries, cookies and cakes, and a delicious range of eat in foods. Echoing the market’s name, the goods on offer are made with love, dedication to the craft, and personal integrity.
“Sugar Rush Park is excited to welcome the I heart Market to our activity hub. Celebrating and supporting small creative local businesses is vital to the local economy and has a special role to play post covid. We invite our customers and Ballito locals to support this initiative and enjoy the fine products.” Nick Jordan, partner at Sugar Rush.
According to Anna Savage, the market will continue to trade throughout the year on the first Saturday of every month. There is secure parking and entrance is free.
For more information, or to enquire about possible trading contact email@example.com
Best University in South Africa
Best University in South Africa According to Center for World University Rankings
The best university in South Africa for 2012-2022 was declared by The Center for World University Rankings (CWUR). CWUR publishes the only academic ranking of global universities that assesses the quality of education, alumni employment, quality of faculty, and research performance without relying on surveys and university data submissions.
Top 12 South African Universities
|Quality of Education Rank
|Alumni Employment Rank
|Research Performance Rank
Center for World University Rankings Methodology
CWUR uses seven objective and robust indicators grouped into four areas to rank the world’s universities:
- Quality of Education, measured by the number of a university’s alumni who have won major academic distinctions relative to the university’s size (25%)
- Alumni Employment, measured by the number of a university’s alumni who have held top executive positions at the world’s largest companies relative to the university’s size (25%)
- Quality of Faculty, measured by the number of faculty members who have won major academic distinctions (10%)
- Research Performance:
- Research Output, measured by the total number of research papers (10%)
- High-Quality Publications, measured by the number of research papers appearing in top-tier journals (10%)
- Influence, measured by the number of research papers appearing in highly-influential journals (10%)
- Citations, measured by the number of highly-cited research papers (10%)
Article shared from CWUR Website
Best University in South Africa’s Websites:
UCT – University of Cape Town
Wits – University of Witwatersrand
Stellies – Stellenbosch University
UKZN – University of KwaZulu-Natal
UP Tuks – University of Pretoria
UJ – University of Johannesburg
NWU – North-West University
UFS – University of Free State
UWC – University of Western Cape
Rhodes – Rhodes University
UNISA – University of South Africa
NMU – Nelson Mandela University
Introducing Salta Sibaya
The Devmco Group have worked on their latest innovation that aims to transform the Sibaya Coastal Precinct’s landscape from normal to extraordinary with a never-before-seen seaside neighbourhood, Salta Sibaya, which proudly sits above Umdloti and forms part of the precinct holistic development plan.
Salta Sibaya will set the precedent for how South Africans will live in the future within a vibrant mixed-use development. The developers pushed the boundaries in providing a bespoke retail and commercial element that is within walking distance of homes. As the future home to Spar, Tops, Woolworths and Pump Track, Salta Sibaya will have a myriad of shopping experiences on its doorstep.
The new central business district, with a culmination of some of South Africa’s much-loved brands finding their home in the dynamic commercial sector.
“When we embarked on this project, our vision was to take the Sibaya lifestyle to the next level by creating a dynamic mixed-use development, where residents live moments away from their workplace allowing them to spend more time on life’s pleasures; braais with family, trail walks throughout the conservancy and estate while enjoying breath-taking views. Salta Sibaya gives you a variety of residential opportunities, with a choice of spacious, pet-friendly, freestanding coastal homes starting from R2.95 million, perfect for those who wish to semigrate to KZN,” shares Devmco Group Director, Charles Thompson.
Choose a double storey or single-story piece of land and build your coastal family home or invest in one of the turn-key home designs.
The homes range between 2-bedroom homes from R2 950 000, 3-bedroom homes from R3 300 000, and 4-bedroom homes from R3 900 000.
For more information, visit www.saltasibaya.co.za
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