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UKZN Receives Siyaphumelela Network Award



UKZN Receives Siyaphumelela Network Award

UKZN Receives Siyaphumelela Network Award. The University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) has been recognized on an international stage, receiving the prestigious Siyaphumelela Network Award at the Achieving the Dream (ATD) Conference held in Orlando, Florida, USA in February.

This accolade celebrates UKZN significant contributions towards equity advancement and student-centered transformation in South Africa, while also enriching the global Siyaphumelela Network with invaluable strategies and insights.

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Acknowledging UKZN Remarkable Achievement

In a global arena where educational equity and student success are paramount, UKZN’s commitment to fostering positive change has garnered well-deserved recognition. The Siyaphumelela Network Award, presented at the ATD Conference, highlights UKZN’s pivotal role in driving transformative initiatives within South Africa’s higher education landscape.

UKZN Journey with Siyaphumelela Network

Having joined the Siyaphumelela Network 2.0 in 2019, UKZN embarked on a journey towards enhancing student access and success. This collaborative effort, supported by the Kresge Foundation, underscores UKZN’s proactive approach to addressing institutional challenges and nurturing a conducive learning environment.

Insights from UKZN University Teaching and Learning Office (UTLO)

Under the guidance of the University Teaching and Learning Office (UTLO), UKZN has embraced evidence-based teaching and learning methodologies. The Continuous Loop of Academic Professional and Institutional Development (CLIP) model, championed by Professor Rubby Dhunpath, emphasizes the importance of ongoing improvement to overcome institutional barriers and support student achievement.

The Impact of Siyaphumelela Network 2.0

As the Kresge Foundation transitions from Siyaphumelela Network 2.0, UKZN stands as one of the 17 South African Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) dedicated to driving data-driven, evidence-based practices. The foundation’s commitment to fostering collaboration and knowledge-sharing underscores its pivotal role in shaping the future of education.

Celebrating Success at the ATD Conference

At the 2024 ATD conference, attended by over 2,000 delegates from across the globe, UKZN’s achievements were spotlighted. Mr. Abdulbaqi Badru, representing the institution, expressed gratitude for the honor bestowed upon UKZN, citing the institution’s unwavering dedication to student success through various impactful initiatives.

Key Insights and Future Directions

The conference provided a platform for insightful discussions on transforming higher education paradigms. Emphasizing the importance of strategic partnerships and continuous learning, attendees highlighted the need to prioritize student economic and social mobility.

Looking Ahead: Siyaphumelela Network 3.0

With the impending launch of Siyaphumelela Network 3.0 in 2024, UKZN remains poised to further its commitment to student access and success. This expansion, encompassing 20 institutions, heralds a new chapter in fostering educational excellence and inclusivity in South Africa.


As UKZN continues its journey of educational innovation and equity, the Siyaphumelela Network Award serves as a testament to its unwavering dedication to student success. With a steadfast resolve and collaborative spirit, UKZN remains at the forefront of shaping a brighter future for higher education in South Africa and beyond.

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