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What is the FVZS Institute Masterclass Series?

This new and innovative leadership series offers short yet impactful learning opportunities. Each masterclass focuses on a specific theme of topical interest regarding student leadership at local, national, and global levels. The FVZS Institute masterclasses seek to inform participants on a specific subject and help them achieve a few identifiable outcomes related to the theme concerned. The sessions have been crafted meticulously to align with the FVZS Institute’s three pillars – Leadership and Active Citizenship (citizen leadership), Social Justice (democracy and human rights), and Critical Engagement and Criticality. They also serve to create an interactive platform t​hat encourages robust engagement and that builds on the importance of creating a space for students to obtain skills and newfound knowledge that are aligned with SU’s identified graduate attributes.

Overall Objectives and Outcomes


  1. To create short, accessible, and engaging learning opportunities for students across higher education institutions in South Africa, which will equip them to contribute to their development as student leaders as well as other aspects of their relations with others.

  2. To foster a critical and reflective environment that encourages students to apply the knowledge and skills that they have gained in various contexts.​


  1. Students will walk away with a basic understanding and skillset regarding a specific subject, which will allow them to identify the value of these gains for their leadership development.

  2. Students will be equipped with the basic theoretical frameworks and guidelines required that will allow them to apply what they have learned about the specific subject critically to various contexts.

Recognition of the Masterclass Series on the academic transcript

  1. Attendance of masterclasses with recognition on the SU academic transcript. For this option, participants are required to complete a short activity. The activity is to be crafted by the facilitator of the masterclass with a view to having participants engage with the material presented and illustrate a basic understanding of the content. Upon successful submission of the activity, participants will receive recognition (a certificate of attendance) on their academic transcript from SU.

  2. Attendance of masterclasses without recognition on the SU academic transcriptParticipants attend these masterclasses without submitting any activity, and thus do not receive transcript recognition. This option is offered to accommodate participants who want to attend a session without the additional requirement of further work or engagement.

Thus far, the FVZS Institute has presented two masterclasses​

  1. The Power of Relational Leadership Presented by Prof Basil Leonard, this masterclass sought to help participants understand the importance of being intentional about cultivating team relationships and of developing a sense of self-awareness that allows them to be cognisant of how their leadership impacts those whom they lead.

  2. Mastering My Emotions (Empathy)Presented by Anita Nowak (PhD), this masterclass explored the deeper meaning of empathy, thereby equipping participants with practical and effective ways of not only mastering their own emotions, but also of positioning themselves in relation to the emotions and experiences of others.​​