Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

Impress

Aug 03
IIE VEGA STUDENTS ROCK THE BRIEF IN 2018 CAPITEC CHALLENGE


A team of four 2nd-year students at The Independent Institute of Education's Vega has made it to the final round of the Capitec Challenge, placing second overall and beating a host of strong senior competition from other schools across the Western Cape.

Capitec wanted to launch their funeral cover in typically unconventional fashion. They bypassed their traditional agencies and took the challenge to Cape Town's leading schools of creativity.

"Capitec wanted to launch a new funeral cover product during the 2018 FIFA World Cup in a manner that would get South Africans talking," says Alexander Sudheim, Senior Copywriting lecturer at Vega. 

"Despite the tough competition, the Vega team performed exceptionally well and came a close second overall. This challenge provided students with the opportunity to showcase their acumen, creativity and ingenuity on an engaging real-world brief."

The team, made up of Henko Brand, Jir-Xin Lai, Lauren Ewertse and Nikola du Toit, conceptualised a clever campaign titled #YouCantFakeDeath. 

South Africans were encouraged to immediately tweet the name of the player and the soccer game using the hashtag #CapitecChallenge  every time a player 'faked' an injury during a World Cup match. 

All tweets would be entered into a competition and participants would stance the chance to win a trip to Russia to watch the FIFA World Cup.

Along with the wealth of experience gained, students were given a cash prize of R10,000, and a R50 000 donation for the Vega Bursary Fund on behalf of Capitec.

DID YOU KNOW?

Vega is an educational brand of The Independent Institute of Education (The IIE). The IIE is South Africa's leading and largest private higher education institution and is internationally accredited by the British Accreditation Council (BAC).

Vega's teaching philosophy is built on the mantra of wisdomwithmagic, creating an academic environment that is based on experiential learning where creatives are trained in strategy and strategists in design-thinking. As South Africa's only brand focused school, Vega aims to inspire a new breed of thinkers with the expertise to generate meaningful brand ideas that link business profit to adding value to people's lives.

The IIE Vega students graduate at a work-ready level, with 95% of 2016 graduates employed within 6 months of completing their qualification *includes part-time and freelance positions. Vega was also ranked first in the national Loerie Awards Top Educational Institutions in 2017, maintaining its reputation as a leader in the South African higher education arena.

Students can enrol for IIE undergraduate and post graduate degrees, diplomas, higher certificates and short courses in design, brand communication and brand management, at The IIE Vega campuses across South Africa. 


Jul 27
IIE VEGA STUDENTS WIN BIG - AGAIN - AT D&AD PENCIL AWARDS


Four students from SA's top brand school Vega, a brand of SA's largest private higher education provider, The Independent Institute of Education (The IIE), are reeling with excitement after receiving two coveted D&AD Pencil awards for their respective group submissions to the competition's New Blood category.

The D&AD New Blood Awards category recognises young creative talent with the goal of helping them take their first steps into the industry of their choosing. Pencils were awarded to Jenny Groenewald and Raphael Janan Kuppasamy for their 'Earn Your Stripes' campaign for adidas, and to Bernice Puleng Mosala and Kyle Marais for their 'Embody Your OS' campaign for Microsoft.

"This will be the 2nd consecutive year that students at Vega have brought home a D&AD Pencil award in this category, which above all else is testament to their own talent, creativity and innovative problem-solving abilities," says Christiaan Graaff, 3rd year Navigator at the Vega Johannesburg Campus.

Students formed groups and formulated their own concepts from scratch with the help of their course navigators based on a brand brief.

Earn Your Stripes

Groenewald and Kuppasamy were tasked with creating a campaign for adidas in keeping with the brand's belief that sport has the power to change lives. The pair chose to conduct research into London's youth and found that, along with being relatively low on disposable income, millennials who live in London don't volunteer much despite having a fair amount of time on their hands.

"We then created a campaign called Earn Your Stripes, which will give adidas consumers (specifically 17-25-year-olds) the opportunity to earn a reasonable discount off their next adidas purchase, by volunteering at specific sports-based and non-sports-based NGOs and NPOs in London," said Groenewald and Kuppasamy.

The pair added: "Knowing that we have an international D&AD New Blood award to our name is still surreal, because of how big of an accomplishment this is. We both feel that our work and ideas are good enough for the industry."

Embody Your OS

Mosala and Marais' Pencil-winning 'Embody Your OS' campaign came off the back of a brief that required the team to create an inspiring, forward-thinking short film featuring the Microsoft Surface.

"We chose to focus on human experiences that are relevant now, which include gay rights as well as black and female empowerment," says Mosala. "We then expressed the human truth through spoken word, which is popular at the moment because poetry is an authentic art form that is based on human experiences."

When asked how they felt about their D&AD win, the team agreed that the sleepless nights were all worth it to be acknowledged for award-winning work and prove that they are industry ready.

"This award will provide the necessary stepping-stones and exposure for my future in film," says Marais, adding, "As a creator passionate about film this D&AD award shows I've got what it takes to create enjoyable and motivational content."

"We salute this year's group of students for their commendable achievements, as being recognised on a global platform like the D&AD awards is no small feat and look forward to seeing where the rest of their careers take them in the future," says Graaff.

For more information on IIE qualifications available to study at Vega and other career-building opportunities, visit www.vegaschool.com.

DID YOU KNOW?

Vega is an educational brand of The Independent Institute of Education (The IIE). The IIE is South Africa's leading and largest private higher education institution and is internationally accredited by the British Accreditation Council (BAC).

Vega's teaching philosophy is built on the mantra of wisdomwithmagic, creating an academic environment that is based on experiential learning where creatives are trained in strategy and strategists in design-thinking. As South Africa's only brand focused school, Vega aims to inspire a new breed of thinkers with the expertise to generate meaningful brand ideas that link business profit to adding value to people's lives.

The IIE Vega students graduate at a work-ready level, with 95% of 2016 graduates employed within 6 months of completing their qualification. Vega was also ranked first in the national Loerie Awards Top Educational Institutions in 2017, maintaining its reputation as a leader in the South African higher education arena.

Students can enrol for IIE undergraduate and post graduate degrees, diplomas, higher certificates and short courses in design, brand communication and brand management, at The IIE Vega campuses across South Africa.


 

 


Jun 19
TOO COOL FOR SCHOOL: THE IIE'S ROSEBANK COLLEGE VOTED TOP CHOICE IN SUNDAY TIMES YOUTH SURVEY


The Independent Institute of Education's Rosebank College was once again named as the coolest college in South Africa, in the 2018 Sunday Times Generation Next Youth Survey. The announcement was made at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg on 14 June 2018.

Now in its 14th year, the Sunday Times Generation Next Youth survey - in association with leading youth market specialists, HDI Youth Marketeers - polls more than twelve thousand young people from around the country, across more than seventy categories, and is considered the leading barometer of what SA's kids, teens and young adults find on-trend and aspirational.


"What makes our brand very cool is that we have a lot of very humble people who work very hard and who love working with young people," says Daphne Mphaga, National Marketing Manager at Rosebank College. 

"Winning this award makes us want to work harder, and do more to give our young people the tools needed to become positive contributors to South Africa and the world at large," she says.

These awards offer great insight into how the youth perceive and attribute value to brands in a highly competitive market. It's always important for brands to understand how a very switched-on youth segment makes decisions, as they'll soon be the income-earners of tomorrow.

"As a youth brand, the IIE's Rosebank College is committed to understanding what makes our young people tick, and we are constantly looking at ways to stay relevant," adds Mphaga.

DID YOU KNOW?

The Independent Institute of Education (The IIE) is a division of the JSE-listed ADvTECH Group, Africa's largest private education provider. The IIE is the largest, most accredited registered private higher education institute in South Africa, and the only one accredited by The British Accreditation Council (BAC), the independent quality assurance authority that accredits private institutions in the UK. By law, private higher education institutions in South Africa may not call themselves Private Universities, although registered private institutions are subject to the same regulations, accreditation requirements and oversight as Public Universities.

The IIE has a history in education and training since 1909, and its brands - Rosebank College, Varsity College, The Business School at Varsity College and Vega - are widely recognised and respected for producing workplace-ready graduates, many of whom become industry-leaders in their chosen fields. The IIE offers a wide range of qualifications, from post-graduate degrees to short courses, on 20 registered higher education campuses across South Africa.




Jun 05
LAST-MINUTE STUDY TIPS TO TAKE YOUR GRADES FROM GOOD TO GREAT


As thousands of South African learners enter their June exams, an expert says that there are a few ways to optimise limited study time without resorting to cramming.

"Revision time is over, and learners must ensure they use the time they have between exams in the most effective way. While cramming may seem the most natural thing to do at this stage, it is actually counter-productive and likely to increase anxiety and fatigue," says Nola Payne, Head of Faculty: Information and Communications Technology at The Independent Institute of Education, SA's largest private higher education institution.*

She says there are creative – and entertaining - ways in which learners can utilise their time between papers, which will also ensure they maintain a good work-life balance during this taxing time.

"The most important thing to do at this stage, is to take stock of where you are at, and then draw up a detailed roster for the next few weeks, which clearly shows how much time you have available between subjects. Then you need to decide how you are best going to use that time to ensure your preparation goes beyond reading textbooks over and over again."

Payne says there are 3 great ways to study while exams are in full swing, which go beyond repetitive and rote learning.

GET SOCIAL

"By getting social, we don't mean diving into facebook or Instagram," she says.

Instead, learners should form study groups for individual subjects, which will allow them to take their understanding beyond the books.

"Set up a WhatsApp challenge with your friends, where you can send each other questions about a subject. This facilitates valuable discussions, deepening insight and highlighting areas you may have missed. Keep it fun but focused, and see if you can 'trip up' your friends with your questions. While it might not be so much fun finding out that there is something your friends know that you don't, this method helps you identify areas need work before it is too late." 

GET ACTIVE

It is very important to exercise during exams, to give your body and mind a break. If you share a study timetable with your friends, you can optimise your time by, for instance, going for a run together during which time you can talk over upcoming papers, points you don't understand, and questions you believe are likely to arise.

"It is important that you and your friends synchronise your timetables, so that your breaks coincide for the most part. By ensuring your downtime is scheduled at the same time as theirs, you avoid a situation where you want to have a chat when they are focused on their work and vice versa," says Payne.

She adds that, by having the same breaks, learners can also act as a conscience for each other to check that everyone is working when they should be, as having to account to them may give one that extra bit of motivation to keep going.

"Then, when taking breaks together, you can talk over issues in a low-pressure environment such as while exercising. Your friends may have valuable insights and support to provide, just as you may be able to help them with your own unique insights.

"Getting active together while not losing focus of the task at hand means you benefit from the feel-good chemicals released in your brain as a result of exercising and socialising, while at the same time increasing your depth of understanding of a subject," says Payne.

GET WRITING

One of the best ways to cement your preparation with limited time on hand, is to write past exam papers, Payne says.

"Get your friends together and hold a mock exam, imitating the exam conditions with set times and no peeking in textbooks. Afterwards, switch papers with each person marking another's paper. This approach has the dual benefit of making you more comfortable with exam conditions, while also solidifying your knowledge in a low-pressure environment."

"It is very important to spread your time between all your subjects, and to not go down the rabbit hole of getting lost in only one subject, for instance Mathematics," says Payne. 

"At this stage of the game, balance is key, and goes a long way towards countering the negative impact of stress and anxiety.

"If you are serious about achieving the best marks to enable you access to the post-school opportunities you desire, introducing creative study methods such as the above will go a long way toward not only improving your performance, but also to cultivate a love of learning for its own sake, which is vitally important in a rapidly changing world of work," says Payne.

* DID YOU KNOW?

The Independent Institute of Education (The IIE) is a division of the JSE-listed ADvTECH Group, Africa's largest private education provider. The IIE is the largest, most accredited registered private higher education institute in South Africa, and the only one accredited by The British Accreditation Council (BAC), the independent quality assurance authority that accredits private institutions in the UK. By law, private higher education institutions in South Africa may not call themselves Private Universities, although registered private institutions are subject to the same regulations, accreditation requirements and oversight as Public Universities.

The IIE has a history in education and training since 1909, and its brands - Rosebank College, Varsity College, The Business School at Varsity College and Vega - are widely recognised and respected for producing workplace-ready graduates, many of whom become industry-leaders in their chosen fields. The IIE offers a wide range of qualifications, from post-graduate degrees to short courses, on 20 registered higher education campuses across South Africa.

 


May 07
HIDDEN COSTS & THEIR IMPACT ON STUDY OPTIONS


Grade 12s should already be well into researching their study options for 2019 and should aim to beat the rush and submit their applications sooner rather than later, whether it be for a public university or private higher education institution, an expert says.

"But before you settle on a degree or institution, it is important to make sure that you considered all your options thoroughly, including those closer to home, which will allow you to avoid the hidden costs unrelated to the actual cost of the course," says Nola Payne, Head of Faculty: Information and Communications Technology at The Independent Institute of Education, SA's largest private higher education institution.

"Of course it is exciting to think about moving to the other side of the country and starting a whole new chapter of your life outside of your familiar environment, but there are some solid reasons for opting to choose an institution close to home," she says.

Payne says apart from the usual advice of how to apply for admission, what you should consider, and which courses you would like to do, the financial impact of studies beyond fees, and the role this should play in your decision, are rarely discussed.

She says prospective students should remember to also consider the following when determining how to structure their budget:

Prescribed textbooks and supplementary material. This could include art material, laptops, and field-specific equipment, to mention but a few. Students will need to budget for two semesters, each of which will contain different modules with their own resource requirements. Depending on the nature of your course, there are also costs associated with printing and copying. 

Accommodation. Will you be applying at an institution that would require you to live in student residence, on off-campus accommodation or will you be staying at home? If you're not going to be at home there are costs such as rent, meals, airtime and laundry that need to be budgeted for as well.

Travelling costs. This would not only include the daily commute to the campus from nearby student residences or off-campus accommodation, but your budget should include extra costs involved in the longer journeys to return home during the recess periods. Travelling to and from the campus would also incur expenses and this can add up quite quickly. Tickets for taxis, buses and trains or the cost of petrol for your own private vehicle should also be considered. 

"There are sound financial reasons for considering studying at an institution close to your home. On top of that, the value of your support structure should not be underestimated.  South African first year dropout rates are high, and lack of support is one of the reasons," says Payne.

"There is a huge gap between the demands placed on you at school, and what you'll need to deal with in your first year studying. The workload is much greater, and there are also additional emotional pressures associated with this new stage of life. We therefore urge the Class of 2018 to carefully investigate all their options, and all the factors that will impact on their emotional and financial wellbeing during their first year at varsity."


Payne says prospective students should remember that there are many options for higher education besides public universities, and that registered private institutions are subjected to exactly the same regulations, accreditation requirements and oversight.

"Considering a local higher education institution will almost always be more economical than one situated far away, because you then have the option of staying at home and saving costs on those extras that come with rental accommodation, plus you will have your support system around you when times get tough.  Given the challenges that first year students face it makes sense to consider delaying living independently until that hurdle is overcome.  Also remember that some institutions have more than one campus, so you could perhaps consider transferring at a later stage when you have found your feet."

DID YOU KNOW?

The Independent Institute of Education (The IIE) is a division of the JSE-listed ADvTECH Group, Africa's largest private education provider. The IIE is the largest, most accredited registered private higher education institute in South Africa, and the only one accredited by The British Accreditation Council (BAC), the independent quality assurance authority that accredits private institutions in the UK. By law, private higher education institutions in South Africa may not call themselves Private Universities, although registered private institutions are subject to the same regulations, accreditation requirements and oversight as Public Universities.

The IIE has a history in education and training since 1909, and its brands - Rosebank College, Varsity College, The Business School at Varsity College and Vega - are widely recognised and respected for producing workplace-ready graduates, many of whom become industry-leaders in their chosen fields. The IIE offers a wide range of qualifications, from post-graduate degrees to short courses, on 20 registered higher education campuses across South Africa.


 


Mar 12
WHEN SCREENS REPLACE TEACHERS: DANGERS OF INTRODUCING TECH IN THE CLASSSROOM


Technology has taken the world by storm and its use now pervades arguably all fields.  The education sector is also embracing the potential that technology offers, with good schools and universities incorporating tech to strengthen educational outcomes.  But with devices and applications now ubiquitous across generations of learning – from infants to doctoral candidates – an expert has warned that teachers and lecturers must be strategic and judicious about technology, so that it supports learning rather than sabotages it.

Aaron Koopman, Head of Programme: Faculty of Commerce at The Independent Institute of Education, SA's largest private higher education provider, says being cautious is particularly important at school level, where habits for lifelong learning are either adopted or abandoned.

"One of the most important areas of risk, is where technology hinders the development of social and collaborative skills," he notes.  

"Collaboration and teamwork are global competencies and rely on the ability of learners to engage with others to reach shared outcomes.  While there are ways in which technology can be used, such as online engagement with people on another continent, a document sharing process or a blog, it is also critical to promote collaboration, which means teachers must ensure that the face-to-face engagement skills of young learners in particular are developed," he says.

Another area of concern, is where the convenience (for educators) and addictiveness (for learners) of technology lead to a situation where it effectively replaces teachers, similar to home environments where screens become de facto babysitters.

"The most effective way to use technology is to support, extend, reinforce and enhance teaching.  It becomes a risk however when one assumes that children can learn independently via technology, particularly when it is not at all interactive or responsive."

It is also problematic when technology is passive, for instance when learners and students use e-books that cannot be annotated.

"This renders them less supportive of learning than hard copy books that can underlined," says Koopman.

A significant danger arises where technology is not managed, he adds.

"Over and above the obvious risks when young people access inappropriate material online, classroom management of devices is critical.  If a distracted young person can virtually wander off and play a game or spend time on social media during class time because of a lack of environmental management, valuable teaching time is lost. 

"It is therefore necessary for good schools and institutions to put in place measures whereby they can lock down what can be accessed during class time, or through other management approaches. Having a management strategy is, however, non-negotiable."

Finally, tech fails can make for major teaching headaches.

"While it makes sense to allow learners and students to bring their own devices, that can cause problems when time is wasted on incompatible operating systems or devices that are not properly charged. Good schools and institutions must specify standards for devices and have sufficient plugs and charging stations to assist with this.  Good connectivity on campus is also crucial.

"Having said that, technology should not take over to such degree that learning stops when devices drop us. Good teachers should be able to keep the class learning even if half or all their devices fail. They should be able to transition into a collaborative lesson or even abandon devices completely and still be able achieve the same outcomes without tech."

Koopman says that technology's advantages cannot be overstressed. But that equally, the importance of good real-life teachers should never be under-estimated.

"Excellent teachers stimulate interest, they create excitement in the classroom, they engage with learners and they broaden the thinking of learners. They are able to relate concepts and principles to learners and customise the learning experience to the needs of the individual learners who all have different styles," he says. 

"Quality teaching is in fact technology independent – if schools genuinely believe in the centrality of teaching as the magic of a learning process they will make technology decisions that support learning and teaching, not undermine it."

DID YOU KNOW?

The Independent Institute of Education (The IIE) is a division of the JSE-listed ADvTECH Group, Africa's largest private education provider. The IIE is the largest, most accredited registered private higher education institute in South Africa, and the only one accredited by The British Accreditation Council (BAC), the independent quality assurance authority that accredits private institutions in the UK. By law, private higher education institutions in South Africa may not call themselves Private Universities, although registered private institutions are subject to the same regulations, accreditation requirements and oversight as Public Universities.

The IIE has a history in education and training since 1909, and its brands - Rosebank College, Varsity College, The Business School at Varsity College and Vega - are widely recognised and respected for producing workplace-ready graduates, many of whom become industry-leaders in their chosen fields. The IIE offers a wide range of qualifications, from post-graduate degrees to short courses, on 20 registered higher education campuses across South Africa.

 


Mar 05
CULTIVATE SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDY HABITS FOR A LIFETIME OF SUCCESS


Senior high school learners from Grade 9 to 12 should not only spend energy on mastering their academic work, but also on mastering those study habits that will set them up for a lifetime of effective learning - from when they hit varsity to when they enter the workplace, an expert says.

"Mastering the mechanics of learning is just as important as the learning itself, and is a crucial component of handling the demands of higher education once learners become students," says Dr Gillian Mooney, Dean: Academic Development and Support at The Independent Institute of Education, SA's largest private higher education provider.

"When learners enter their final years of school, it is no longer just about the amount of time they spend in front of their books, but also about the quality of that time. These years are the optimal ones for developing the skills that will help them manage the increasing workloads of they will face in future," she says.

Mooney says there are a few basics that senior learners can start putting in place as part of their regular routines, which will clear the administrative clutter on their desks and in their minds, allowing them to learn faster and focus purely on the subject at hand:

  1. LEARNING TO TOUCH TYPE

    Productivity is vastly improved both at uni and in the workplace when the effort and thinking around typing is removed, says Mooney.

    "Note-taking is more accurate, assignments can be completed faster, and admin can be handled more effectively. In 2018, being a keyboard maestro should be a skill everyone gets under their belt sooner rather than later," she says.

     
  2. DEVELOPING GOOD ORGANISATIONAL HABITS

    "One of the main challenges we see among first years, is their struggle to keep all balls in the air. The workload increases dramatically between Matric and first year, and being organised demonstrably improves your chances of keeping your head above water."

    Mooney says learners should start getting into the habit of filing their notes every day as well as spending a few minutes daily on administrative and organisational tasks.

    "Very importantly, they need to start developing a logical folder structure and filing system, to ensure that confusion doesn't catch up with them, and that they do not spend unnecessary time searching for things that are either lost or hidden in plain sight.

    "Create different folders for different subjects, make sure your sub-folders make logical sense, and stick to effective naming conventions which make document searches easier."

    And very importantly, a habit of backing up regularly should become second nature.

     
  3. LEARNING TO MULTI-TASK

    Using your time effectively and creatively can generate a lot of additional time which will come in handy when the pressure really sets in, says Mooney.

    "For instance, when going for a run, don't just listen to music. You can use this time to listen to an audio book or discussion on the subject you are studying or revising at the moment. Find opportunities such as these, where you can claim two birds with one stone. Another example of creative time-management, would be to not play random computer games during your downtime, but to download one of the very entertaining typing challenges that will improve your keyboard game as well as serve as relaxation."

     
  4. CULTIVATING A GROWTH MINDSET AND COMMITTING TO LIFELONG LEARNING

    Some learners and students can't wait for the end – the end of school, the end of exams, the end of uni, and so forth. But always looking forward to when your studies will be over turns each subject, test and exam into a chore that needs to be completed.

    "Switching this attitude around however, and relishing the reality that your learning is a lifelong project rather than something that needs to be crossed off your to-do list, will instil a mindset that will open up a never-ending world of opportunity and discovery," says Mooney.

    She says this is particularly necessary within the context of the looming 4th industrial revolution, where employees need to be multi-skilled creative thinkers.

    "We are no longer in a world where it is about what you know. What counts today and what will count in the future, is how you get to know things, and how you are able to cope with change. That is all dependent on your knowledge management habits, which young adults need to start cultivating as soon as possible."

"When we look at those students who successfully navigate their first year in higher education, it is clear that they are the ones who bring with them the habits that enable effective learning, combined with a resilient mindset," says Mooney.

"Many students don't enter higher education with these skills, which is why good institutions have the support structures in place to assist and guide them. But those who heed the warning to start cultivating these skills in senior high school and arrive at the doors of higher learning with those behaviours already entrenched, are undoubtedly at an advantage."

DID YOU KNOW?

The Independent Institute of Education (The IIE) is a division of the JSE-listed ADvTECH Group, Africa's largest private education provider. The IIE is the largest, most accredited registered private higher education institute in South Africa, and the only one accredited by The British Accreditation Council (BAC), the independent quality assurance authority that accredits private institutions in the UK. By law, private higher education institutions in South Africa may not call themselves Private Universities, although registered private institutions are subject to the same regulations, accreditation requirements and oversight as Public Universities.

The IIE has a history in education and training since 1909, and its brands - Rosebank College, Varsity College, The Business School at Varsity College and Vega - are widely recognised and respected for producing workplace-ready graduates, many of whom become industry-leaders in their chosen fields. The IIE offers a wide range of qualifications, from post-graduate degrees to short courses, on 20 registered higher education campuses across South Africa.


 


Nov 24
DON'T LET YOUR FEAR OF INTERVIEWS STOP YOU FROM REACHING FOR YOUR DREAM


Many job applicants think – incorrectly – that the war is pretty much won once their CV gets the nod and they get invited to a job interview. Yet the shortlisting is only the first hurdle and, once cleared, candidates must prepare to compete on a very different level against other candidates who also passed muster on paper, an expert says.

"Interviews can be scary affairs, and anxiety often trips up otherwise deserving candidates," says Wonga Ntshinga, Senior Head of Programme: Faculty of ICT at The Independent Institute of Education​, the largest and most accredited private higher education institution in South Africa.

"The purpose of an interview is to get to know a candidate more closely, and to try and determine which shortlisted candidate will be the best fit not only for the work and a position's unique challenges, but also for the company and its culture. And the best defence against wasting a valuable interview opportunity is to be prepared. Very prepared," he says.

"If you have all your ducks in a row by the time you go and sit in front of the panel, you will be the master of your destiny - not your fear and anxiety."

Ntshinga says the following should be kept in mind in the lead-up to the interview:

DO

Pay attention to detail  

Do your research about the position and the company, opportunities and challenges. List and rehearse your career highlights as they relate to the requirements of the job you want to land. Focus on what you are currently doing, what you have done, and what you expect to contribute in future. Demonstrate how you will solve problems, manage projects and make decisions.

Understand that your track record is constructed throughout your life

When showcasing who you are and what you have done, source relevant and exciting examples wherever you can find them – whether from school, higher education or previous positions. Prove that you have successfully worked with various kinds of teams, for instance large-scale, diverse or acrosss continents, and that you understand how the physical world works.

Keep it clean

Realise that when two candidates are equal, the one that is able to demonstrate a positive impact on their community, and resilience and strength of character, is more likely to land the job. A good reputation is an invaluable asset. If there is a negative in your past, be prepared to convince the panel that you have grown and learned from it.

Demonstrate that you are part of a professional community

Join and become active in your industry body or a professional organisation. It shows that you are not an island and are committed to growing your career.

DON'T

Fake and fumble

Preparation is key. Know what you want to say, and find opportunities to do so in the questions that are posed. Ditch the unnecessarily lengthy monologues, and answer questions honestly and precisely. Above all, answer questions in a cool, calm and friendly manner. Show your entrepreneurial spirit, by providing examples of times you have looked for innovative solutions to problems.

Think your good grades and technical proficiency will pull you through

There is a good chance that most of the candidates competing with you during the interview stage will have the same level of subject expertise as you. That is why you have to demonstrate how you as an individual will be the best choice. Amplify and articulate your technical skills, but be sure to also showcase your great communication and strategic skills, and your emotional intelligence.

Let your social media activities destroy your real-life opportunities

All employers will do a social media background check on prospective employees. Online mistakes can last forever, so always be very responsible in your posts and interactions. If you have beef with someone, take it offline and solve the problem like an adult. Nothing says "stay away" like seeing unsavoury exchanges on your candidate's timeline. So, even before you apply for a position, do a personal social media audit and ask yourself the question – would you hire the person you are seeing in those facebook posts and tweets? If not, you should invest some time in developing a more professional online presence.

PIC: ISTOCKPHOTO.COM



Nov 13
MATRICS: HOW TO KEEP THE FOCUS WHEN EXAM FATIGUE SETS IN


With little more than two weeks of the Matric final exams left, an education expert has warned learners to keep the focus right to the end, because what lies ahead could still mean the difference between make or break.

"It would be understandable – but a mistake – for Grade 12s at this stage to feel that what's done is done, and that they don't have much power to change things or improve on their overall performance in their remaining papers," says Wonga Ntshinga, Senior Head of Programme: Faculty of ICT at The Independent Institute of Education, SA's largest private higher education institution.

He says with the worst behind them, and exam fatigue threatening a sustained effort, learners should remember that their one or two remaining papers could yet make a very real and decisive difference to their future options.

"It is worth taking stock now of where you are, engineering a mind shift, and getting to a space where you are able to stay strong, motivated and effective right until the end," he says.

"Ultimately, a handful of points on a paper could influence whether your final symbol goes up or down, which should be encouragement enough to ensure you put in your very best effort even on the so-called easier subjects that may come."

However after a year of studying, exams, revision and more revision, as well as the stress and anxiety learners had to manage during the finals, it may take more than positive encouragement to get the focus back, says Ntshinga.

Learners – with the help of their parents and guardians – should therefore consider the following strategy to get them back to an in it to win it attitude. Ntshinga says they should:

KEEP THE END GOAL IN MIND

Visualise your plans for next year, and match that dream with the performance you need to get there. That means not just the performance on, for instance, the 5 papers you have already completed, but also the 2 that are still to come.

Many of the subjects that are still to be written are ones that were chosen to score "easier points" to improve overall matric scores, and that strategy should not be abandoned now that the jackpot is within sight.

STICK TO YOUR ROSTER AND AVOID CRAMMING

Keep putting in a solid, consistent effort on your remaining work in line with how you planned your approach at the start of the exams. Don't be tempted to take unnecessary days off now, with the intention of cramming later. Yes, the pace has let up from the earlier weeks in the exam, but don't let relief at seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, combined with fatigue, derail your momentum.

KEEP PUTTING ONE FOOT IN FRONT OF THE OTHER, COMPLETE SMALL TASKS

Break up your remaining workload into smaller, easier to complete sections rather than attempting to sit down for hours at a time to study entire textbooks in one go. Now really is the time to eat the proverbial elephant one bite at a time. Be easy on yourself, but be consistent in your efforts. Just keep going one piece of work at a time, and then tackle the next and the next.

AVOID CATASTROPHISING THOUGHTS

Don't let negative emotional energy over what's happened so far in the exams impact on what you can still do. If things have gone well, sustained effort can mean that things go even better than you aimed for. If things had not gone well, renewed and continued effort can mean the difference between having a range of study options or limited prospects. Whichever it is, it is important to understand that there will be options, and that every bit you do now has the potential to increase the chances of you being able to study what you want, where you want.

GET SOME EXERCISE AND A CHANGE OF SCENERY

Finally, now is a good time to also get out of the musty study rut, and to start smelling the flowers of freedom. Take a walk, give yourself a special treat during your scheduled downtime, or do something new. There's a whole new and exciting world waiting for you on the other side of the last sentence of the last paper you write, so allow yourself to look forward to it, while also ensuring you give yourself the absolute best launchpad you possibly can.



DID YOU KNOW?

The Independent Institute of Education (The IIE) is a division of the JSE-listed ADvTECH Group, Africa's largest private education provider. The IIE is the largest, most accredited registered private higher education institute in South Africa, and the only one accredited by The British Accreditation Council (BAC), the independent quality assurance authority that accredits private institutions in the UK. By law, private higher education institutions in South Africa may not call themselves Private Universities, although registered private institutions are subject to the same regulations, accreditation requirements and oversight as Public Universities.

The IIE has a history in education and training since 1909, and its brands - Rosebank College, Varsity College, The Business School at Varsity College and Vega - are widely recognised and respected for producing workplace-ready graduates, many of whom become industry-leaders in their chosen fields. The IIE offers a wide range of qualifications, from post-graduate degrees to short courses, on 20 registered higher education campuses across South Africa.


Nov 06
GRADE 11s: NOW (NOT NEXT YEAR) IS THE BEST TIME TO CONSIDER YOUR STUDY OPTIONS

With three months left before they enter their final year of school, Grade 11 learners could be tempted to make relaxing their only priority before the whirlwind year that is Matric. However now is precisely the time they should be investigating and even pinning down their further study plans, an education expert says.


"Once you've started your Matric year, you will have very little time to focus on ensuring you choose the right course and the right institution for you, because of the workload, endless rounds of revision and exams, and all the fun and functions that go with your last year at school," says Peter Kriel, General Manager at The Independent Institute of Education, SA's largest and most accredited private higher education provider.

Kriel says many Grade 12s get so caught up in the social and academic demands of their final year, that they don't spend enough time ensuring they investigate all their options and apply timeously to university or private higher education. This could lead to them missing out on a space, settling for second best, and diluting their Matric study efforts with stress and anxiety about what they are going to do after school.

"Another thing that Grade 11s are often not aware of, is that they can submit applications on the basis of their Grade 11 marks, which means that they can then focus wholely and completely on Grade 12, without further concern or distraction about what happens the year after. In addition, knowing what you want and where you are going at the start of the year, will also help you focus your study efforts, as you'll know exactly what you need to achieve during the year and at your final exams."

Kriel says that the changed Higher Education landscape in South Africa means that prospective students now have many more options than what they had in the past, when the default approach was to enter a public university for a 3-year degree.

But he warns that because there are so many more options now, prospective students also have more work to do to ensure that they find the right course and right institution for their unique goals.

"Finding the right study direction should be on top of your priority list when finding out about what and where to study," he says. 

"In addition, selecting an institution that will meet your needs is the most important aspect of helping you prepare for your future."

Kriel warns that while the websites and brochures of institutions may provide one with the basic information about which programmes are on offer, the process of applying and cost, merely looking at brochures and websites may not give you the type of information that would really allow you to make an informed decision.

"In fact, all institutions would provide you with course information, but no institution will state that the size of the Business Management 1 class is over 500 or that it is really challenging getting academic support on campus. Therefore, the only way to find out about such underlying aspects is to ask the right questions. And to do so thoroughly takes time – time which you are not likely to have next year."

Kriel says when evaluating institutions, future students should attend open days, physically visit the campus, and make telephonic or written contact.

"These actions and the way your inquiries are handled will provide a solid indication of what you can expect from an institution going forward."

For Grade 11s who are serious about getting their ducks in a row before jumping in the Matric pond, Kriel has a handy checklist that will help them determine which institutions will be able to provide them with the highest quality education. He says prospective students should ask institutions the following questions:

  1. How do your class sizes in this particular programme compare to other institutions or universities? (Keep in mind that the institution may not have in-depth information about the class sizes at other institutions, but you want to hear about this particular institution).
     
  2. How is classroom contact time and self-directed study balanced? (Self-directed study is an integral part of higher education and therefore as important as classroom contact).

  3. How is technology supporting the learning experience of students at this institution? (Merely having a data projector in classrooms or lecturers making presentations available electronically is not the response you are looking for).

  4. How important is employability of students after studying at your institution? (You want to listen out for responses that relate to industry ties, industry input into curricula, work readiness programmes, career centres, as well as the lecturing staff's industry experience and relationships with industry).
     
  5. If I get stuck with an assignment or project, which resources and courses of action are available to me? (Only talking to your lecturer is not an ideal response. You want to listen for reference to, for example, library support and resources, writing centers and other forms of student support).

  6. Even if not applicable to you, it may also be a good idea to ask about the institution's policy and support for students with special needs, for example needing extra time in assessments. (If they stumble in answering this question, it may be an indication that they are not really focused on this aspect of student support, which may be a sign about their overall student centeredness).

DID YOU KNOW?

The Independent Institute of Education (The IIE) is a division of the JSE-listed ADvTECH Group, Africa's largest private education provider. The IIE is the largest, most accredited registered private higher education institute in South Africa, and the only one accredited by The British Accreditation Council (BAC), the independent quality assurance authority that accredits private institutions in the UK. By law, private higher education institutions in South Africa may not call themselves Private Universities, although registered private institutions are subject to the same regulations, accreditation requirements and oversight as Public Universities.

The IIE has a history in education and training since 1909, and its brands - Rosebank College, Varsity College, The Business School at Varsity College and Vega - are widely recognised and respected for producing workplace-ready graduates, many of whom become industry-leaders in their chosen fields. The IIE offers a wide range of qualifications, from post-graduate degrees to short courses, on 20 registered higher education campuses across South Africa.



 

 

 

 


1 - 10Next