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Wits, Univen sign strategic MOU

- By Wits University

The Wits University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Adam Habib and the University of Venda (UNIVEN) Vice-Chancellor, Professor Peter Mbati yesterday signed a Memorandum of Agreement on a strategic partnership in the areas of research and postgraduate studies, teaching and learning and community engagement.  

“Although individual academics at these institutions are already collaborating with each other in some disciplines, the need to formalise and strengthen these efforts was recognised last year and we decided to formalise it through a Memorandum of Agreement,” says Habib.  

“This initiative not only supports the strategic goals of Wits and UNIVEN, but also manifests the need for greater cooperation and collaboration between neighbouring higher education institutions, post-democracy.” 

Recognising that current relationships already exist between peers at the three universities, the partnership will focus on specific academic projects in the areas of engineering, health sciences, education, mathematics and social sciences. It will also include staff mentoring and capacity building, student exchanges and access to research and teaching facilities at Wits’ rural campuses in Mpumalanga.     

“This is an exciting project for Wits and speaks directly to our objectives of being a globally competitive and simultaneously, a local responsive institution,” adds Habib.

“UNIVEN, a rural based comprehensive University has a vision to be a leading regional university with a strong service orientation to its community.  This collaboration is an important initiative in not only achieving this objective, but continuing to grow its research base,” says Professor Mbati.

The Vice-Chancellors are in accord that partnerships between local universities are fundamental and one of the drivers of transformation in the higher education sector. A major benefit of this initiative is that it makes more effective use of declining research and teaching resources and through a reciprocated arrangement, contributes to advancing our country’s educational, economic and social development needs as espoused in the National Plan.