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Tshwane University of Technology Faculty Stalwart Boasts a New Title



Tshwane University of Technology Faculty Stalwart Boasts a New Title

At an autumn graduation ceremony of the University of Stellenbosch, Herman Botes, a stalwart employee of the Faculty of Arts and Design and a passionate design educator, received a PhD in Visual Arts. A recent interview with him described this journey as both rewarding and a challenge.

Tshwane University of Technology Faculty Stalwart Boasts a New Title

Photo of Herman Botes, head of the Faculty of Arts and Design’s Department of Visual Communication, after obtaining his doctorate.

Tell us more about your career so far

Since 2003, when I was appointed as a Section Head, I have been part of the Faculty’s management team as the Head of the Department of Visual Communication. DEFSA (Design Educators Forum of Southern Africa) elected me as its president in 2018 and I now serve on the DEFSA Senate.

Tshwane University of Technology Faculty Stalwart Boasts a New Title

TAU Fellowship (Teaching Advancement at Universities) was completed in 2022. In South Africa, I’m frequently involved in the accreditation of design-based programmes as a programme evaluator for the Council on Higher Education (CHE).

What Is the Title of Your PhD Dissertation?

Analyzing critical citizenship and decolonization in South African design education

Who Was Your Supervisor?

Prof Elmarie Costandius.

How Important Is It on This Journey to Select the Right Supervisor and Have a Good Relationship With Him/Her?

The strongest predictor of success in your postgraduate journey is your relationship with your supervisor. The same supervisor guided both my Master’s and Doctoral studies, allowing me to explore topics of shared interest further.

Having a supervisor who is a leading authority in the field is an honor for me. The fact that one is in the hands of an internationally renowned expert provides great comfort.

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Shortly Explain the Major Findings/Discoveries Made as Part of Your Study and How They Contribute to the Current Body of Knowledge in This Field.

Citizenship education for citizen designers can be enhanced with critical citizenship and decolonization perspectives. Social and economic inequality have a negative impact on social justice, according to the study. This calls for conscientious citizen designers who are capable of thinking and acting beyond current expectations.

This study contributes to the field of design education by identifying a wide range of relevant and significant themes in critical citizenship and decolonization perspectives that could be used by design educators for implementation when promoting the development of South African citizen designers within their specific discipline.

What Advice Do You Have for Fellow Staff Members Who Are Busy With Their Doctoral Studies or Are Contemplating Such Studies?

If you are not passionate about your topic of research, don’t embark on this journey. It is an exercise in perseverance.

What Are Your Research Interests, and How Important Is Research Output in the Arts?

In South Africa, I am passionate about advancing design education. During my 25-year career as a design educator, I have witnessed an exponential growth in research output in the field of design education in South Africa.

How Will You Encourage a Current Student to Pursue Postgraduate Studies?

For students seeking to prosper in the industry of design, postgraduate qualifications are not generally required. It is therefore highly likely that students who pursue postgraduate studies will become academics.

I consider the decision to become an academic to be one that comes from the heart and is driven by passion. The call of postgraduate studies should not be ignored if it does not come from the heart.

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What Are Your Ambitions Academically at This Stage of Your Career?

In the immediate future, I intend to build my reputation as an author and editor. Getting to work with colleagues at TUT and South African and international academics is an exciting prospect for me.

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