My GVV Experience is a series of testimonials of educators, higher education administrators and individuals who share their experiences in taking the GVV course. This series highlights Aravinda Ram, Deputy Pro-Vice Chancellor – Employability and Technology, Botho University 

Edited for clarity and brevity

Q: What inspired you to take the GVV Africa course?

A: During the 2023 June convening, I attended the session on Giving Voice to Values Africa. Learning more about the initiative, I felt it was something that the Botho University’s community of students, student leaders and staff could really benefit from. At Botho University, we are well known for our ethical stance on all matters, so incorporating a pre-built course that reinforces these ideals into our community was very attractive, especially since there was an opportunity to participate in it ourselves and take up a training program so we can facilitate others. Our main interest is to be able to offer training on Values and Ethics to our students in their first year itself and also make such topics a part of the leadership training for newly elected student union members on all campuses.

Q: Is there anything you have learned that has benefited you in a particular situation?

A: One thing, for me, personally, that I have taken away is when you are faced with an ethical dilemma, it is okay to take a stance that you really believe in and examine all the parameters around that situation and take a step back. You can evaluate all the sides of the story, and then still, if you feel like what you believe in is what you really want to do, then you find the courage to state it, using some of the techniques that are taught in the course.

Because to say that this is just the way things are I don’t really subscribe to that, and so this course has reinforced some of those concepts for me! The section on rationalisations used to justify behaviour and common disablers and enablers was very insightful in this regard. I also wanted to know that by preparing myself for the worst case scenario, I will voice my values without regrets, knowing I did my best. I think this will be immensely useful for first-year students to find their confidence, start early, and position themselves to be ethical leaders in line with their values. 

Click here to read more stories in the series.