Sheba Kashiri has not only developed a renewed appreciation for her studies at Stellenbosch University but also a better understanding of her future career roles in her field after attending the Kühne Summer School in Sustainability in Germany recently.
The Summer School, held at the Kühne Logistics University in Hamburg, equipped students with new paradigms, theoretical concepts, skills and tools to better understand the impact of business on the environment and society. Students having this knowledge at their fingertips are much sought after by firms and can become powerful drivers of sustainable change.
Students were exposed to interactive lectures, case studies, group work and excursions. At the end of the course, students were able to, among other things, assess a company's engagement in sustainability, recognise trade-offs between different sustainability efforts of a company and identify corporate sustainability practices and opportunities in a business environment.
Kashiri, who is in her second year of studying towards a diploma in sustainable development at SU's School of Public Leadership, said before the summer school she felt a bit unsure about what her future career in the sustainable development space would look like after her studies.
“l was one of those people who were concerned about what they will do after they finish studying. But the summer school cleared all my doubts. It gave me so much confidence and allowed me to embrace and appreciate my studies. This is important, because to excel in whatever one is doing, one first has to accept it and be passionate about it. I have developed a new energy and enjoyment for my studies, which is amazing."
Kashiri said every day spent at the summer school was an unforgettable experience.
“Each day was amazing in its own way. However, the day that stood out for me the most, was when we went to Klimahaus Bremerhaven which means Climate House in English. It is a museum that is designed to allow people to explore different countries' temperature and climate in order to educate people about climate and climate change. We travelled to eight climate and temperature stations; this means we explored eight different countries in one building."
“The first day of summer school, we also had a cooking event where we cooked our own dinner. I am a person who loves cooking and baking, so having that event as my first day of the summer school was awesome."
She said the Kühne Summer School in Sustainability is not only an amazing experience but it also exposes one to great opportunities.
“Having this experience allows one to build great networks, develop ideas and to be aware of what is happening around the world."
According to Shaun Dunn, lecturer at the School of Public leadership, courses such as the Kühne Summer School in Sustainability offers students a great opportunity to experience tertiary education outside South Africa.
“At the Diploma programme in Sustainable Development, we encourage our students to network locally as well as continentally and internationally. In developing strong African and international networks, their social-ecological impact will be felt across many places in the world. This hopefully enables them to be leaders who make a difference while leading from the heart."
He said SU students interested in summer or winter school short-term courses hosted by various universities abroad can apply through the Stellenbosch University International Office.
The three-year Diploma in Sustainable Development Programme, presented at the Sustainability Institute's praxis hub, provides students with theoretical knowledge and practical experience in areas such as sustainable technologies, complexity and ecology, social entrepreneurship, leadership development, social activation, small business management skills, creativity and storytelling.
- Main photos: Sheba Kashiri cooking her own dinner and at Hamburg Train Station.
- Photo below: Sheba Kashiri with other students who attended the Kühne Summer School.