Recently, at the start of 2019, I chose to come out of retirement, deconcentrate and redelegate, for the time being, my BLU ERA activities; and enroll for a higher education. Now what this might have meant, 10 years ago, was returning to the politics department at UKZN and trying to finish my BA in political science and philosophy. Unfortunately for me that final concession was granted to me in 2010; and due to my international activities, and nonsense, pertaining to the FIFA World Cup 2010; that final concession was squandered by me in 2010.

Nonetheless, given that from 2003 I have been the Executive Director of BLU ERA, and that in 2010 I closed the chapter of my student days at UKZN, I have found ways to occupy my time with BLU ERA activities. You will recall that I went into retirement in 2007 and then published and promoted the WNPC model between 2007/8 and 2010/1. I must say that I have been very busy with elections throughout this time from 2010, and have established a nice sedate pace at which to function. All in all, a decent way to spend my time.

This brings me to 2019 and a decision that says that I want to be minister responsible for public enterprises and parastatals. Why? Because they’re in a parlous state and I’m probably the only one who can fix them and make them profitable. In order to do that effectively, I need to become an expert in supply chain management, and in order to do that I need a BCom in this subject. At about the same time that I was thinking about all of this, I received an e-mail from Durban High School, telling me about the new institute that was being started in the old Technical Drawing/Audio-Video Theatre building.

It’s called NewBridge Institute and coincidently it offers the Institute of Marketing Management’s BCom degree in supply chain management. What a stroke of good luck, I thought. Naturally, being the political activist that I am, I have had to extricate myself from all extra-curricular, extra-mural, sporting and social activities. I have also had a very stern talking-to by the head of the institute, who made me promise not to canvass the students about anything! So there’s definitely no distractions.

You see the thing is, that I want to be minister responsible for public enterprises and parastatals urgently, and I need to finish this degree urgently. And in speaking to NewBridge about its positioning and offering they had this to say:

The core focus of NewBridge Institute is to prepare students for life after graduation and efficiently transition students from school to post-school education and then to the workplace through our integrated teaching and learning methodology, Professional Development Programme and work experience. The learning outcomes are designed to develop and enhance the skills that align with what are necessary to build the bridges to industry, contribute to society and make a difference. This unique approach prepares students for independent learning and equips them with an entrepreneurial mindset.

To successfully achieve these aims and ensure that students are prepared to undertake the journey of their choice, all students who join NewBridge Institute will only undertake their chosen programmes in the second semester of 2019 (and will register for their chosen programme with the relevant providers in April).

The first semester will be dedicated to the initial part of the Professional Development Programme which focusses on the following areas:

  • Academic skills
  • Personal skills
  • Workplace skills
  • Financial skills
  • Digital Citizenship
  • Workshops, Short Learning Programmes and work experience

NewBridge Institute’s first semester programme is designed to overcome the challenges that many students face when transitioning from school into post-school education. Preparing students and managing expectations early on, significantly increases their success and ensures they gain maximum benefit from, not only their classes, but their professional development as well. Students will also undertake various online short learning programmes from global universities focussing on the students’ area of interest.

Our model will disrupt the post-school environment and effectively prepare school leavers for their studies and empower them to become confident and relevant young graduates.

We support the following programmes:

  • Degrees:
    • IMM Graduate School – Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA)
    • IMM Graduate School – Bachelor of Commerce (BCOM)
  • Vocational:
    • CTH (ITHSA) – Hospitality and Tourism
    • PHYSICAL IQ – Fitness and Sport Management
  • Career (industry and portfolio focus – SETA aligned):
    • Information Technology – Programming and Networking (2 years)
    • Public Relations and Event Management (1 year)
    • Brand Design and Digital Advertising (2 years)
    • Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development (1 year)

And having said that, the fact that it is associated with Durban High School, who are the people who taught me to win, only makes me more enthusiastic for this journey. Newbridge is located at 189 Stephen Dlamini Road, Musgrave, Durban and can be contacted through +27311008104 (0311008104), and for more information.


Avishkar Govender

Avishkar Govender is the Chief Political Officer of MicroGene.

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