Once again, time has caught up with me and it is that time of the year for one of NWSD's traditions of writing my annual open letter to students, staff and graduates.
As we now face the end of the lecturing year, I look back at 2011 with a feeling of achievement. Overall this year has been a year of making live changing decisions, and I thank you all for accepting all the changes and the whirlwind that this has brought on.
The first major decision was to change the status of the college from FET to HET (Higher Edu-cation) and the development of the two fashion degree courses (BA and BSc). The response and your cooperation with this inevitable change has been one huge support foundation for me. We are all looking forward to the start of the 2012 lecturing year as the start of the globalization of our courses. We have already made lifelong friendships with our international colleagues and industry partners and this brings the excitement for all the 2012 international seminars and networking sessions.
2011 presented us with another option: Move the college to Potchefstroom or stay in Klerksdorp? Boy! Did we battle with this one! Not an easy choice, because even though the answer might seem obvious at first glance, we were faced with many pro's and con's either way. Could I just up and go? Could moving reel in more students? Will staying provide the needed economical growth? Which town has more development up its sleeve? And so the questions kept on singing in my head. Charles and I could not get our minds around this tornado so we started with some research and asked around, because after all, an educated decision is what was needed. We asked the general public, current students, future students, graduates and professionals from all walks of life.
Then, the very day after our graduate fashion show, I focused on the development plan of the college and our future goall of establishing the North West Design District. Looking at the architect plans and artists drawings, I realized that our future entails more than just expanding a college, or creating a design based campus, which would obvious have fitted in well in Potchefstroom as an established student town. With the Design District which is set to not only to be a campus but also an entrepreneurial development centre, the answer hit me! Stay in Klerksdorp! The Design District is set to be so much more than just a campus, and Klerksdorp offers us the perfect playing ground for this project.
Once the choice was made, more and more signals, sirens and signs were showing me that Klerksdorp it will be. I realized that if Klerksdorp has been the perfect, snugly home of North West School of Design for the last 13 years, why move? Why fix something that is not broken? As is, we have successfully drawn students from all over South Africa and neighboring countries and we intend to continue doing so. Also, our geographical position would not have an impact on the globalization of our courses with online lectures also presented by international professors.
We are however still aware that some school leavers would much rather live in Potchefstroom as to experience the student life. For those individuals we are currently looking at ways to get a sponsorship of a “Potch Bussie' to transport our Potch-students to class and back. Hold thumbs for this!
Then, lastly, to my students: I trust you had a blast getting your qualification and that you learned much, saw lots and made lifelong friends! Thank you for all my thank you cards and inboxes in that you liked my classes. It is an honour that I could develop you as designers and entrepreneurs. Remember; open your arms wide to the world. Close your mouth and listen. Listen with all your senses. Discover. Learn. Read.
As always, thank you to the staff for
sharing my vi-sion and working towards reaching our goals.
NWSD COURSE SCHEDULE 2012