The presidential delegation led by SAICE 2014 President Stanford Mkhacane and Chief Executive Officer; Manglin Pillay visited the University of Witswatersrand and the University of Johannesburg in March. Universities are an important part of the civil engineering industry for the continuity of the profession in future. During these visits SAICE had the opportunity to meet with university staff and student communities to discuss matters which would ensure the continued growth and success of the profession.
Issues which surfaced from the interactions included a lack of funding and resources to pursue projects which could contribute to producing well-rounded engineering students. Another recurring issue was the high student–teacher ratio, which was above the norm compared to acceptable standards.
SAICE student chapters and student communities at both universities were actively engaged when the President and CEO shared their own student experiences and stories of perseverance. They went on to communicate the value of the contribution that the civil engineering industry makes towards growth in the economy and in the lives of individuals and communities.
Universities which have had the opportunity to rub shoulders with the presidential delegation to date include the University of Cape Town, University of Stellenbosch, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, Walter Sisulu University and the Mangosuthu University of Technology.