June 5, 2014! This day will always be remembered as one of the important dates in the history of Mangosuthu University of Technology. It’s on this day that the university, now popularly known as MUT, officially launched a series of celebrations of 35 years of its existence. The celebrations will take place throughout the year. The Vice-Chancellor, Prof Mashupye Kgaphola, paid tribute to those who paved the way to the success of what is now a household name. He told more than 5000 crowd of staff, Council members and students of the important role played by “…those who came before us. They laid a foundation for MUT to be what it is,” he remarked.

MUT started from humble beginnings with only 15 male students in 1979. Now MUT has over 10 000 students, three faculties, and countless alumni. Prof Kgaphola suggested that MUT should now be seen in a broader context. “We should now start looking at MUT as a major contributor to the lives of the people of Umlazi.” Prof Kgaphola thanked all those that had contributed to the development of MUT. The best products of the institution can be seen in the students that are drivers of big business. Prof Kgaphola also pointed out that they were confident that MUT would be on even a firmer ground in the next 35 years because of the continued support from the students, staff and the university Council. “Our staff have made sacrifices, and dedicated their time and helped our students grow. Our Council members continue to dedicate their time to MUT.”

One of the longest serving member of staff, Prof Koos Landman of the Department of Civil Engineering and Survey, reflected on how much MUT has changed from the time he joined in it January 1982, with Des Mack, who is now the Director of the Department of Co-operative Education. Prof Landman said they had less than 200 students, and classes of 10 20 students at the time; they used chalk and chalkboards. “Now we have access to technology when teaching. This is a great university,” he concluded.

The only university in SA that is located in a township has also seen its student numbers grow and has taken very serious positions in the SA industrial landscape. Some of MUT alumni are making their mark in the university itself. One of these is Senzo Jerome Malinga. Senzo joined MUT as a student in 1988. He studied Electrical Engineering. Now the man who says he used to squat at student residences is a Dean of the Faculty of Engineering. He recently got his PhD at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. His official title is Prof Senzo Malinga CEM.

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Article issued by MUT