The Digital Capability Laboratory, created by the University of Pretoria (UP), has launched to give students there “future-fit” digital skills. The university claims that the employability-focused lab, which is situated on UP’s Hatfield campus, would equip students with the necessary skill set to enable them to flourish and adapt to the constantly-evolving workplace.
These abilities include computational thinking, digital literacy, technical expertise, project management in the digital age, and business analysis in the digital age.
The lab, which was established as a component of the Erasmus+ SUCSESS Project of the European Union (EU), intends to address the alarming youth unemployment rate in South Africa by upskilling students and transforming them into marketable, creative, and solution-driven graduates.
The Department of Career Services at University of Pretoria and the Faculties of Humanities, Economic and Management Sciences will oversee the Digital Capability Lab, which will have a transdisciplinary focus.
The lab is outfitted with cutting-edge technologies that, according to the statement, will provide a creative and distinctive area for developing hands-on digital capacity. The facility serves as a test site for innovative technologies that are being scaled up. Students will get access to industry-specific technologies that will help them come up with creative answers to problems that are unique to their respective fields.
The Department of Historical and Heritage Studies at UP, where Berendien Lubbe is an emeritus professor and senior research associate, is one of six higher education institutions that are a part of the EU Erasmus+ SUCSESS Project. According to the university, the lab aims to use digital collaborative learning as part of UP’s initiatives to create programs that are fit for the future.
Speaking during the unveiling this week, UP Vice-Chancellor and Principal Professor Tawana Kupe stressed the importance of the university preparing and supplying its students with the necessary tools for the future workplace, which is predicted to be very different. According to him, the upcoming generation of graduates will likely switch careers numerous times in a variety of new, developing industries, thus they will need to constantly advance their skills in order to remain marketable.
“The Digital Capability Lab falls in line with our strategic priorities to build a robust present and future, both for the university and its students, and society at large,” he noted.
“We are navigating ongoing disruptions at multiple levels, and face numerous complexities, which require us to collaborate across academic disciplines and national borders to co-create impactful knowledge and innovative solutions.
“These efforts are not only necessary to survive and thrive in the changing employment landscape, but are crucial to the livelihood of future generations,” Kupe explained.