School of Built Environment & Development Studies

UKZN Staff member graduates with PhD for research on quality higher education

Operations Manager in the School of Built Environment and Development Studies, Dr Phumelele Zakwe, graduated with her PhD in Business Administration.
Dr Phumelele Zakwe graduated with her PhD in Business Administration.
Dr Phumelele Zakwe graduated with her PhD in Business Administration.

Her research looked into various understandings of the concept of quality and the factors that affect the provision of quality Higher Education. It also highlighted the important leadership quality dimensions that can strengthen and enhance the provision of quality Higher Education in Higher Education Institutions in the Durban Metropolitan area.

‘I chose to do my PhD because there is need for the leadership of the institutions to develop strategies to overcome the impediments to achieving quality outcomes and cultivation of a culture of compliance among the institutional team members,’ said Zakwe.

The study points to the need for a participatory and teamwork leadership style to achieve quality outcomes; visionary leadership and strong compliance with quality assurance policies and procedures; and a quality value driven leadership focus.

‘The recommendations include the need for a balance between the internal-external dichotomy of quality and its assurance understandings and conceptualisation by institutions of Higher Education,’ added Zakwe.

She thanked God for showing her the way and her family and friends for their support, encouragement and interest during the research process.

Zakwe is currently writing and publishing articles on leadership, management, quality assurance and administration.

Commenting on her achievement, the Dean and Head of the School, Professor Ernest Khalema said, ‘What an achievement and a milestone for Dr Zakwe, her family, our School and the College of Humanities. We are proud of imbokodo okuthiwa ngu Dr Zakwe. Her academic achievements and her operational leadership have been impactful to the School in that we understand better the art of supportive leadership to address challenges in higher education… HALALA.’ He added that Zakwe is the only Black African woman serving in Operational Management at the College of Humanities that has obtained a doctoral degree.

Professional and academic staff members also congratulated Dr Zakwe. They wished her all the best in her career path and noted that her area of specialisation is one that is not pursued by many.

‘My objective and future plans are to utilise my 15+ management, leadership, supervision and administrative skills, knowledge and experiences to benefit myself and my organisation’s mutual growth and success, promote quality products and services, meet and exceed assigned personal and organisational goals and contribute to the outstanding success of an organisation,’ said Dr Zakwe.

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Ms Kuhlekonke Ntuli

Housing student wins KZN National Achievement Award in Leadership

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