2023 SU–Lund staff development programme draws to a close
Following a group of ten Stellenbosch University (SU) staffers' visit to Lund University in Sweden in September 2023 as part of a first-of-its-kind mobility programme for support services staff, a Lund delegation reciprocated in November, travelling to Stellenbosch for an in-person engagement.
According to Lidia du Plessis, SU International's programme manager of Staff Internationalisation, the six-month bilateral mobility initiative focuses on the professional development and continuing education of professional administrative support services (PASS) staff. The programme offers PASS staff a chance to learn new skills and have an international experience while interacting with peers.
Activities of the blended programme kicked off in June with an online session, which offered both SU and Lund participants an opportunity to get to know one another before their in-person visits.
Innovative and inspiring
“The programme provides an international opportunity to develop support staff and contributes to SU's core strategic themes of building purposeful partnerships and inclusive networks and being an employer of choice," says Lidia. “Seeing its impact on not only the participants, but also the environments they come from inspires me to keep developing opportunities for PASS staff to take part in international mobility and to expose them to their peers globally."
Dr Pär Svensson, senior advisor for African Partnerships at Lund University, is equally satisfied with the programme the two institutions have created jointly. “The Lund-SU programme is unique in giving support staff the chance to internationalise and job-shadow colleagues at another university overseas," he says. “It is innovative in combining digital and physical mobility to establish long-term friendships."
Valuable lessons learnt
Melissa Siegelaar, learning and teaching support officer in the office of the dean of Economic and Management Sciences (EMS), was one of the Stellenbosch staffers who job-shadowed her Swedish peers. “The visit to Lund University was a great learning experience," she says. “The lessons that I learnt were not necessarily specific to my role in EMS, but will help me do my job better and more efficiently overall."
The programme concludes on 4 December 2023 with a final online reflection.