Cape Peninsula University of Technology (SOUTH AFRICA)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2013 Proceedings
Publication year: 2013
Page: 7185 (abstract only)
ISBN: 978-84-616-3847-5
ISSN: 2340-1095
Conference name: 6th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 18-20 November, 2013
Location: Seville, Spain
South Africa is a young democracy, with the first democratic election being held in 1994. Great strides have been made with regard to redressing and correcting injustices of the past. However, the reality of the transformation to a more equitable society has not been simple. Thus, many companies have adopted diversity management programmes that take on various formats, and to date, diversity management has focused essentially on how corporate leaders and employees manage the process of growing a more inclusive workplace. It is therefore imperative that progress to embrace transformation be made through education of students within institutions of higher education, and not only among corporate employees.

The inclusion of culture and diversity studies into the core curriculum will assist in preparing graduates for the workplace, and contribute towards their understanding of the complexities pertaining to diversity. The aim of the study is to assess the effectiveness of a methodology used in the Business Faculty at Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) in South Africa, and whether the approach will contribute to addressing the challenges faced by graduates as they deal with the various aspects of transformation and diversity in the workplace and society.

As indicated in the CPUT response to the Ministerial Committee Report, diversity has to be included in, or integrated across, the curriculum. Currently, as part of many subjects of study, reference may be made to a surface understanding of what diversity means, without fully exploring it. The methodology and content for the subject has to be carefully considered. It is also crucial that the objectives for inclusion and the outcomes consider all aspects, and not focus on the scientific theory only.

Based on feedback from the Department of Education and considering our responsibility as educators, it is imperative that the Business Faculty at CPUT and institutions of higher learning move toward engaging their students in a programme that will assist them in becoming socially responsible citizens by critically examining topics in diversity and transformation, by understanding how the past has shaped our present and future, and by learning how we move forward and contribute to positive change for all South Africans.

One of the initiatives in the Business Faculty at CPUT has been the inclusion of diversity management into the core curriculum at a first year level, thereby providing future graduates not only with an understanding of diversity and diversity management, but also providing them with the tools to deal with the complexities of the management of diversity in the workplace and society. The results of the study will not only assist graduates to understand and value diversity and the necessity for diversity management, it will also make them aware of their roles as socially responsible citizens, and so contribute meaningfully to various aspects of transformation and diversity in the workplace and society, and ultimately, to nation-building.
Diversity, valuing diversity, diversity education, diversity management, methodology, transformation.