Dr Tshidzumba Ratsodo Phillip, Head of Department for Forestry and National Resource Management Fort Cox, announced that Fort Cox Agriculture and Forestry Training Institute (formerly known as Fort Cox College of Agriculture and Forestry) had accomplished accreditation for their Advanced Diploma in Forestry Management programme from the Council on Higher Education (H/AG03/E004CAN), and that the Advanced Diploma had been successfully registered with the South African Qualification Authority (SAQA) (ID number 116379).
“This milestone has been made extra special”, Dr Tshidzumba explains, “as it was attained at the same time the Institute, established in 1930, celebrated its 90th anniversary and the Forestry and Natural Resource Management academic option celebrated its 50th anniversary.”
Acknowledging the hard work and dedication put in by the Fort Cox academic staff, Dr Tshidzumba accredits their efforts as, “leading to the realisation of this milestone”. He also highlights the importance of the leadership provided by Fort Cox Council and the inputs from those in the Forestry Sector on the Fort Cox Curriculum Advisory Council in achieving accreditation.
The Advanced Diploma in Forestry Management (NQF Level 7) is hoped to have universal appeal to both employed and unemployed prospective students from South Africa and beyond.
Outlining the course objectives, in brief, Dr Tshidzumba explains “the qualification has been designed to develop the students understanding of the principles, criteria and standards driving sustainable forest management and provide them with all the tools required to implement these sustainable forest management practices in line with various legislation and standards. Familiarising students with information technology software relevant to the Industry, is another key component of the advanced diploma, as is facilitating the student’s systematic engagement in research activities.”
In the face of COVID-19 uncertainties, the course has been developed to blend face-to-face and online learning, with prospective students able to choose a 1-year full-time option or a 2-year part-time modular option. To achieve the Advanced Diploma, students will be required to complete eight core modules:
- Forestry Development
- Forestry Management III
- Tree Improvement
- Research Methodology
- Forest Costing and Budgeting
- Project Management
- Forestry GIS and Remote Sensing
- Research Project
The course is only scheduled to commence in March 2021, due to the disruptions COVID-19 has had on the 2020 academic calendar. As a result, applications for 2021 admissions are still open, closing on 31 January 2021. Prospective students are encouraged to complete an online application for admission form. Entry requirements for this programme are a Diploma in Forestry qualification at NQF Level 6, with a minimum of 360 credits and related qualifications.
“As an Institute, we are eagerly looking forward to receiving the first-ever group of students in this programme to walk this journey with us” Dr Tshidzumba concludes.