By Asia Education Review Team , Thursday, 04 July 2024

Mandela University Partners with Hubei University in Historic MOU Ceremony

  • Representatives from Hubei University of Technology (HBUT) in China recently visited Nelson Mandela University. During the visit, the universities formalized their collaboration by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). The agreement aims to explore opportunities for joint educational programs, staff and student exchanges, collaborative symposiums, and research partnerships.

    The agreement marks a significant step in achieving the University's aim to create and sustain an environment that encourages a vibrant research, scholarship, and innovation culture. This newly formed collaboration was sparked off by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (DVC) for Learning and Teaching, Dr Muki Moeng, ’s visit to China last year during a DVC forum when she visited HBUT in Wuhan, Hubei Province. She then learnt more about teacher education and education research and discussed the establishment of a partnership with Mandela Uni.

    Professor Chen Zicai, Vice-President of Scientific Research and Cooperation at Hubei University of Technology, emphasizes that their institution embraces international development as a core operational philosophy. A primary focus includes strengthening higher education diplomacy between South Africa and China. “We have worked with the University of Venda (UNIVEN), mostly on agriculture, since we want to eliminate food insecurity, and this focus on green technology has been supported by the Chinese government”.

    “So, we have been looking into expanding our partnership in South Africa having seen Mandela University’s science and technology innovation, and we have identified areas of similarities between our universities, which we can partner on”, said Prof Zicai. With its robust programs in fields like Science and Engineering, HBUT offers opportunities for joint research projects and faculty exchanges. These collaborations aim to enrich global perspectives and academic knowledge. Additionally, the potential for establishing dual degree programs in specific disciplines would allow students to obtain postgraduate degrees from both universities.

    Dr. Palesa Mothapo, Acting Senior Director of the Mandela International Office, praised the promising opportunities offered by this partnership and highlighted the potential benefits that could result from this collaboration. “We want our students to have a global education and exposure to various other cultures and knowledge systems and use resources outside the University, and partnerships are the way in which universities are able to achieve that”.

    “Going forward, we will profile the various research activities happening at the University, as well as student exchange and staff mobility programmes that we will design together as part of this partnership”, said Dr Mothapo. Upon arrival, the HBUT delegation was warmly welcomed by Mandela University's International Office, which reciprocated the gesture by accepting an invitation for a visit to HBUT extended by the delegates.