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Ushering in a new era in staff development at Wits

- Wits University

Wits has introduced a new range of online development opportunities for the benefit of staff members.

The Human Resource Development Unit (HRDU) at Wits has forged a partnership with Coursera as from 2021. This partnership introduces a top-notch range of online staff development opportunities to give employees more flexibility, and the power to advance skills sets and careers.

Coursera is one of the top-ranked international learning platforms and offers a wide selection of cutting-edge courses, across a spectrum of disciplines, through its network of top university and corporate partners. In this pilot year, staff members can access more than 4000 courses through the ‘Wits on Coursera’ site. The HRDU selected a total of 367 courses from the broader site to address generic critical skills within the University. These are clustered under 3 broad programmes:  Leadership, Management and Supervisory Development; Development for Professionals in Higher Education; and Personal Learning Themes for Academics.

The offerings on the Wits Coursera platform are free and open to all staff members, and will be managed by the HRDU on a rotational license (or seat) basis, linked to an internal application process. The partnership between HRDU and Coursera was officially launched on 6 May 2021.

“Given this time of disruption, we must usher in a new era in staff training and development which responds to rapidly changing needs,” says Dr. Chantelle Murray, Head of HRDU.

“Employees will have access to the best courses from top international institutions. Certificates from these institutions are enormously powerful, and therefore, completion of the selected course/s is important,” continues Murray.

“Generally, these are short courses which take an average of six to eight weeks to complete. Targeted short courses are valuable and serve as a quick and effective way to upgrade skills sets,” Murray explains.

How to complete a Coursera application form.

The Wits Coursera online courses complement the traditional, contact-based training programmes offered by the HRDU. Selected contact and/or Teams-based programmes will still continue in order to cater for all staff members.  View2021 traditional training prospectus.

“We must be agile and relevant, and move with the times by adopting a blended delivery approach.”

As part of the University’s staff wellness programme, Mpil’enhle –Itlhokomele, staff will also have access to coaching services. This professional support will help staff to reach goals in their professional or personal lives. Staff can opt for life coaching, career coaching, parent coaching and leadership coaching. The coaching support is offered under the services of Kaelo Lifestyle, the University’s partner in promoting holistic staff wellness. Click here for more information.

For more information about Coursera, visit the HRDU webpage on the Wits intranet. Watch the launch video