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Staff development made easy with flexible training platforms

- Wits University

Wits Staff and students have access to free online learning platforms to continue learning.

In a time when education was only reserved for men, Abigail Adams, wife to the second president of the United States said: “learning is not attained by chance, it must be sought for with ardour and attended to with diligence.”

This statement is as true today as it was when it was first uttered. The difference today is that we have the internet at our fingertips and the opportunity to learn is only a click away. Wits staff and students have a range of self-development opportunities available to them, at no cost.

This article shares just two of the many, and the experiences of staff and students who have completed the online free courses. Coursera is a learning platform open to staff offering over 3000 courses from recognised international universities. Managed by the Human Resources Development Unit (HRDU), the short courses offer staff an opportunity to enhance professional skills at work or explore new interests.

Through the Virtual Training Company (VTC), both Wits staff and students can enrol to ICT-based short courses that are essential to today’s society. Courses include software package such as animation, 3D design, project management, internet and web design, multimedia, and video, to name a few. VCT is under the auspices of the eLearning Unit at Wits University and is offered in partnership with leading international institutions.

Fundiswa Ngomani, Peter Maher, Busi Masango and Wendy Pearsall

Fundiswa Ngomani, Learner Experience Designer with the Faculty of Commerce, Law and Management, enrolled herself to the User interface (UI)/User experience (UX) design course on VTC.

“I learnt a lot from this course, as a designer you can never say you know all the trends, sites and resources of UI & UX, it is always a good idea to expand your knowledge, learn new trends and concepts,” says Ngomani.

The self-paced courses allowed Ngomani to manage her time and complete the course without feeling overwhelmed.

Director of the Alumni Relations Office Peter Maher registered on Coursera. A seasoned public speaker, Maher also wanted to test his public speaking skills and pick up new techniques. In 2021 he completed a speaking and presentation course earning a certificate from the University of Michigan.

Human Resources practitioners know the value of ongoing self-improvement. Wendy Pearsall and Ntombi Masango from the HR Office at the Faculty of Health Sciences are leading by example.

Pearsall’s encourages staff members to play an active role in their own development. She completed Human Resources Analytics sharpening existing skills.

Masango joined Wits as an intern and is now a Human Resources Assistant.

“I do believe that these Coursera helped me to advance my careers. During my interview for the current post I was able to draw on the courses and demonstrate application of new knowledge to the panel.”

Masango completed two courses from the Fundementals of Project Planning and Management (University of Virginia) and Personal Leadership Development Planning and Leading High Performing Teams (Rice University).

Students positioning themselves for success

Wits students have taken to VCT in numbers since it was advertised in February. More than 2000 students have registered and the majority have successfully completed their courses.

Paul Mosima, a second-year chemistry is currently enrolled for the 3D animation course. As a student with an already demanding academic programme, the online and self-paced course is a winning combination as he can focus on the core academic programme and yet pick up useful courses that will make him more versatile in the short and long term.

“VTC was introduced to assist staff who want to upskill themselves but have tight schedules. VTC offers online courses allowing staff to study at their own pace and at their convenience and when they are ready, they can enrol themselves for exams with any accredited institution.” Says Antoinette Malgas, Instructional Designer with the Elearning Support, and Innovation Unit. “For students we wanted to help them gain additional skills above their degrees, that can be coupled with their degrees to increase their chances of getting employed.” Malgas added.

Whether you are enrolled to enhance your skills or unearth a passion, be sure to use this opportunity. The Virtual Training Company has various course to choose from. View the catalogue of courses and to enrol in any of these courses please register via VTC Staff enrollment or VTC Student enrolment. Enquiries:

To find out more about Coursera please contact or