In mid September 2010, a small team of explosives trainers, manufacturers and users will visit Cranfield University in the UK to explore cooperation and bridging options with Unisa and South African industry.
The object is to benchmark the local course internationally, establish bridging to post graduate training for local graduates of Unisa certificates and degrees, and possibly make some Cranfield modules available in Africa at local pricing.
Unisa train only about 35 explosives managers and blasters per year. Employers and learners from several African countries and the UAE, including, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Botswana, have enquired about explosives management and blasting training in SA.
The training linkage team includes Unisa business management academic Prof Schenk, senior lecturer Andreas De Beer. One employer plans to delegate an explosives manager, and other employers are invited to include delegates on the trip.
“The basis for local training in explosives management, would be international conventions, norms and South African legislation,” explained Unisa senior lecturer Andreas De Beer.
Among the international conventions relevant to explosives, is a rule prohibiting the dumping of ammunition and explosives at sea.
Cranfield offers graduate level modules, as well as M and D level studies and research. Unisa offers a national diploma and B Tech in explosives management. For BTech Explosives Management graduates a limited concession was granted for access into the Unisa MTech Business Administration programme.
The European institution could also benefit from linking up with the dedicated South African trainer, due to a century of experience in all aspects of explosives manufacturing and use, ongoing research by operators, as well as many opportunities for hands on learning under industry conditions.
Unisa’s explosives management courses, although hosted in a general business management department, remain closely linked to industry needs, as proven by their involvement and hosting of industry bodies at the Florida campus.
“We offer blended learning, meaning that the course is presented in part by industry specialists,” said De Beer.
Some modules are offered by distance media, including a satellite linked studio based at the Unisa Sunnyside campus, with presentations and interactive sessions recorded on DVD.
• Contact Unisa via Andreas De Beer on 012 429 8365, firstname.lastname@example.org
PHOTO; Unisa business management senior lecturer Andreas de Beer.