Johannesburg inner-city university receives another building donation

Posted On Tuesday, 24 June 2003 02:00 Published by eProp Commercial Property News
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Last month Credit Agricole Indosuez donated one of its buildings to the CIDA City Campus, a virtually free tertiary education facility for people from previously-disadvantaged backgrounds

Philippe PellegrinLast month Credit Agricole Indosuez donated one of its buildings to the CIDA City Campus, a virtually free tertiary education facility for people from previously-disadvantaged backgrounds.

The organisation is also finalising the donation of a second building, following its relocation to Melrose Arch, outside Johannesburg’s inner city.

CIDA City Campus was opened three years ago, and currently has 1 700 students studying towards a four-year university-level business degree.

Its objective is to provide more universal access to quality higher education that contributes to the full development of every learner, and to the social and economic development of the nation at large.

The cluster of buildings is situated at 4 Ferreira street, on the corner of Marshall street in the Johannesburg city centre, and comprises 10 000 m2 of floor space.

"We believe the donation is a way to contribute to the education process in South Africa, and to forge meaningful links between France and South Africa," Credit Agricole South Africa CEO Phillipe Pellegrin says.

As part of the donation, the company has initiated the idea that CIDA forms a partnership with a university and business school in France.

Credit Agricole South Africa has opted to keep the name French House to retain the memory of the prestigious building, which was the home of the French Bank for more than 50 years in Johannesburg.

This adds to CIDA campus’s head-office building donated by Investec at 54 Commissioner street, and a large building donated by First National Bank in Harrison street, which is currently being renovated.

Anglo American is also donating a very sizeable building to support the 2004 student intake.

"CIDA provides higher education designed to encourage human, economic and social development," CIDA City Campus CEO Taddy Blecher says.

"The campus offers a world-class, holistic, relevant, technology-enriched tertiary education, at very low cost, designed to develop tomorrow’s business leaders," says Blecher. Students learn to appreciate their education by contributing financially – R350 in the first year, and R150 per month in the second, third and fourth year of study.

Over the next five years the institution intends to have an additional 5 000 to 9 000 students in the Johannesburg city centre. After this CIDA will be replicated in other provinces.

CIDA City Campus accepts students from financially or other disadvantaged backgrounds. Students are selected on the basis of academic excellence, leadership ability and willingness to transform South African society. Strong English and mathematical ability are desirable.

Students come from cities, townships, informal settlements and rural areas across South Africa, as well as other African Union countries. CIDA uses advanced technology to enhance and assist the learning process, such as screens, large televisions, and computers, ensuring that all students are able to see and hear clearly, and experience a direct link with their lecturer. The integrated teaching system covers seven to nine hours a day, and 40 to 44 weeks a year for four years.

CIDA provides a fully accredited, practical four-year Bachelor of Business Administration qualification that emphasises entrepreneurship, business science and technology. Throughout the programme, students run the campus and administration offices themselves, which gives them valuable hands-on experience.

Students cover more than 40 subjects during the four-year academic programme.

In addition to a very strong commercial and technological education base, students are able to specialise in a wide range of chosen fields. Options include accountancy, information technology, finance, marketing, human resource management and entrepreneurship.

Entrepreneurship is compulsory at the campus. In their second year, students construct a detailed business plan, integrating all the subjects they have covered. In the fourth year, they establish their businesses in teams, with successful businesses continuing after graduation.

"A venture capital fund is being set up to provide students with the means to start their own businesses," Blecher says.

At the institution, students are divided into small classes of 35 to 50 people, which are attended by tutors and facilitators as well. "CIDA offers contact education, combined with the ability to import content from the world in any format, whether via video conferencing, video, streaming video, Internet, PowerPoint, audio, satellite, or any other format," he says.

Lecturers are local and international professionals, providing the most effective combination of theory and practical experience on a daily basis.

Courses are continually updated to provide the skills and expertise that are in highest demand according to sectoral national imperatives. Students are graded by their performance in traditional exams, tests, orals and assignments. The Bachelor of Business Administration qualification is accredited by the South African Qualifications Authority and the Council of Higher Education, as well as the South African Institute of Management, and is provisionally registered with the Department of Education.

Due to its innovative curriculum, CIDA students have over 50 career opportunities on graduation.

CIDA has a diverse campus life-experience, where students can take part in up to 70 different sporting, cultural and recreational activities.

Several companies supporting the institution have provided their products at no cost, including software from Microsoft, books from McGraw Hill, all technology equipment from Amalgamated Appliances, and the accountancy degree is courtesy of PricewaterhouseCoopers.

The institution is sponsored by the private sector and receives extensive support from companies such as Investec, First National Bank, Dimension Data, KPMG, MTN, DaimlerChrysler, the Kellogg Foundation, Puregas, Monitor Company, African Bank and Corpcapital.

These companies combined represent R64-million-worth of scholarships.

CIDA has a unique teaching programme where students return during holidays to teach for credit in their own home school and community. In October 2001 CIDA students trained 300 000 youths about Aids, and on money management in communities throughout South Africa.

The institution recieved the SABC2/Tribute Achievers Award this month.

The award pays tribute to African excellence and is an acknowledgement of Africans who have made a profound difference.

This award is added to CIDA City Campus’s other accolades, including the Global Leader for Tomorrow Award of the World Economic Forum, the grand prix award in the Age of Innovation competition for the most innovative organisation in South Africa, the Nedbank Prosperity Sustainability Award, and the appointment by the Commonwealth Secretariat for CIDA City Campus to serve as a regional centre of excellence in higher education.

Last modified on Monday, 19 May 2014 09:59

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