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Change the world


Delegates from Hubei University of Technology (HBUT) in China, recently paid a short visit to Nelson Mandela University, with the two universities signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to establish an official partnership from 28 June.


From left, Mandela International Office's Qhama Bona, Acting Senior Director of the Mandela International Office Dr Palesa Mothapo, Acting Dean of Business and Economic Sciences Professor Michelle Mey, Registrar Edgar de Koker, Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor (DVC) Research, Innovation and Internationalisation Prof Hendrik Lloyd, Hubei University of Technology’s Vice-President of Scientific Research and Cooperation, Prof Chen Zicai, and delegates from Hubei University of Technology.

Key areas of strength and cooperation in joint education programmes, staff and student exchanges, joint symposiums, and research collaborations are among the items to be explored. 

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 Deputy Vice-Chancellor (DVC) for Learning and Teaching, Dr Muki Moeng’s, visit to China last year during a DVC’s 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.

Hubei University of Technology’s Vice-President of Scientific Research and Cooperation, Professor Chen Zicai, says their university upholds international development as one of its operational philosophies, with the consolidation of South Africa-China relations in higher education diplomacy being a key focus.

“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.

HBUT’s strong programmes in areas, such as Science and Engineering, present potential collaborations in joint research projects and faculty exchange programmes, which would enhance global perspectives and academic knowledge.

This, along with the possibility of creating dual degree programmes in specific disciplines, would enable students to earn postgraduate degrees from both institutions.

Acting Senior Director of the Mandela International Office, Dr Palesa Mothapo, lauded the potential of this partnership and that what stands to be gained 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.

Mandela University’s International office warmly received the HBUT delegation upon arrival, and the delegates extended the same courtesy by inviting Mandela staff to their University for a visit.

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