Wits, Limpopo sign strategic partnership
- By Wits University
The Wits University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Adam Habib and the University of Limpopo Vice-Chancellor, Professor Mahlo Mokgalong, signed a Memorandum of Agreement on Tuesday, 5 May 2015 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,” said Habib. “This initiative not only supports the strategic goals of Wits and the University of Limpopo, 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 two 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,” added Habib.
Professor Mokgalong echoed Professor Habib’s comments and remarked: “The initiatives envisioned by our institutions reflect the synergies that would optimise the teaching and learning, research and community engagement core business assigned to universities.”
“As a peri-urban university, the University of Limpopo has unique features – such as its strong focus on broad-based access to higher education and rural development – which it is able to share whilst it would, in turn, be able to benefit from interacting, networking and sharing with its counterpart who enjoys resources that may previously not have been readily available.”
Mokgalong made it clear that the partnership charts a clear course towards a meaningful higher education transformation trajectory and that there are many exciting prospects that could be explored and shared to develop, consolidate and enhance organisational effectiveness, efficiencies and successes between the two institutions.
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.