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 Institutional collaboration the way to go

Institutional collaboration the way to go

Dated : 03.11.2017


With the world quickly becoming a global village, collaboration between institutions of higher learning has become an inevitable force that the University of Botswana cannot just wish away.
 
Infact, it is a vehicle through which information sharing and cross-fertilisation of ideas can and must occur. The Acting Deputy Vice Chancellor Academic Affairs, Professor Sebudubudu, made such observed in a meeting with a delegation from South Africa’s Central University of Technology (CUT) led by its Acting Deputy Vice Chancellor Research, Innovation and Engagement, Professor Alfred Ngowi, at UB on November 1, 2017.
 
He spoke of the importance of regional universities establishing a network of collaborations as a cost effective way given that the trend had been to have North-South cooperation at the expense of South-South.
 
“Collaboration is the way to go in the world we live in today and we need to develop South-South collaborations because the tendency has been to think that everything good should come from the north,” said Professor Sebudubudu. The Acting Deputy Vice Chancellor observed that with plans to grow UB from the current student enrolment of an average of 15 000 to 20 000 in the next five years, the University must be part of the envisaged network of collaborating regional institutions.
 
That, he added, would also bolster UB as a comprehensive university that offered quality research programmes, teaching and community service. Professor Sebudubudu said UB was committed to remaining an international university in that 30 per cent of the teaching staff must be from a cross section of countries. He promised to send a UB team on a fact-finding mission to CUT.
 
The Dean of the Faculty of Science, Professor Julius Atlhopheng, said there was a niche in food technology and the development of animal vaccines which both UB and CUT could explore and develop ways of collaborating. Professor Benjamin Bolaane, Dean in the Faculty of Engineering and Technology, also expressed delight at the prospects of developing a partnership in the area of engineering and technology with CUT.
 
In response, Professor Ngowi, a former Dean in the University of Botswana Faculty of Engineering and Technology, concurred that in this era of a fourth industrial revolution, there was need for combined efforts and pooling of resources and expertise to help offset the dearth of research funding in the region. He further underscored the need to train students to become global citizens given advancement in technology that made translation of language very easy.
 
According to information from its website, CUT has positioned itself as the foremost higher education institution in the heartland of South Africa, dedicated to quality education and training in science, engineering and technology.
 
Initially, Technikon Free State, CUT opened its doors in 1981 with 285 students enrolled mainly in secretarial, art and design programmes. However, following the restructuring of the higher education landscape, CUT embraced its new status as a university of technology. It transformed from a technikon in 2004 and now offers a wide range of qualifications in its four faculties, namely the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology, the Faculty of Health and Environmental Sciences, the Faculty of Management Sciences, and the Faculty of Humanities.
Part of Professor Ngowi’s delegation included specialists in additive manufacturing, specifically medical products based on 3-D printing; innovation, food safety, agriculture and internationalisation.
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