Technology-based education is at the forefront in today’s world. It forms a pivotal part of every cog in modern society. THENSA delves into this riveting topic. 

We need technology in every classroom and in every student and teacher’s hand, because it’s the pen and paper of our time. It’s the lens through which we experience our world. 

Through technological education, research, and innovation, THENSA enables its partner institutions to respond to the challenges and targets stipulated in the NDP, the UN SDGs, and the Africa 2063 Agenda.

THENSA: forward thinking and tech savvy 

As a representative body for technology-focused higher education institutions in South Africa and the African continent, THENSA’s aim is to ensure a vibrant economy in Africa is established and maintained. 

THENSA strives to keep abreast of the latest technological breakthroughs through innovative partnerships with business, industry, and research institutions across the world

THENSA is passionate about connecting minds. As an organisation, we are responsible for establishing networks for collaboration between smart institutions focused on technology research and innovation

Established in 2006 by five South African Universities of Technology, THENSA’s key focus is the promotion and advancement of science, engineering, arts, and technology programmes for the world of work. 

THENSA is the catalyst that capitalises on the collective voice, strengths, and opportunities of its members for the benefit of its students, staff, researchers, innovators, as well as its business and industry partners. 

As part of our overarching mission, THENSA is constantly contributing toward facilitating the expansion of a national and global innovation ecosystem – something we find highly imperative and necessary for today’s fast-paced and forever-changing world. 

Technology is now commonplace 

Considering students’ familiarity and comfortability with using technology, it only makes sense for the latest trends and innovations to play a crucial and holistic role in the classroom, lecture hall, or live on the computer screen. 

The ability to reach more students efficiently is the key drawcard of technology-based education. The use of technology in education helps to simplify access to educational resources

It also assists in the improvement of the overall learning experience and helps students prepare for their future careers

Food for thought 

We know that climate change and food security are real threats

According to Mario Lubetkin, Assistant Director-General for the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, the number of people suffering from global hunger rose to 828 million people last year – an increase of 46 million from 2020 and 150 million since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

With a honed focus on facilitating impactful research and innovation toward creating and maintaining sustainable societies, THENSA looks toward the importance of new technological advancements in the agricultural landscape. 

Through the growth of technology in farming, the concept of smart farming was born, making pasture management more manageable and cost-effective. 

Smart agriculture (smart agri) takes centre pasture 

Smart farming is currently underway at the Central University of Technology (CUT), one of our member institutions located in the Free State. 

According to CUT’s Communications and Marketing Department, smart agriculture or“smart agri” integrates advanced technological methods, including the Internet of Things (IoT), big data, and cloud computing

Due to climate change and unpredictable weather patterns, farmers struggle with the management of their pastures due to their reliance on climatic conditions.  

The project is hosted at the CUT farm in Bloemfontein, and a weather station has been set up to gather information about the pasture’s growth, such as temperature, soil moisture, and rainfall. 

This project currently adds value to the CUT farm as it allows the farm managers to plan the feed (natural or artificial) for the animals,” said Dr Baby Kuriakose, Senior Lecturer: Electrical Electronics and Computer Engineering to the CUT Communications and Marketing team.      

Kuriakose added, “Once the veracity of the model has been established, such a project can be rolled out to small and medium-scale farmers within and around the community. This will greatly aid their farming as well as mitigate the challenges brought about by the unforeseen climate changes.” 

Gearing up for the innovative future 

With the rapid onset of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), the need for technology-based education is imperative. 

Technological innovation at universities in SA and abroad is crucial in order to keep up with the fast-paced disruptive nature of the current technological age