Pooling resources: TUT and UMP partner up to fill gaps, be relevant

2015-09-02 10:17

The newly established University of Mpumalanga and the Tshwane University of Technology have signed a partnership agreement to share skills and resources.

The two institutions aim to identify gaps where they can collaborate in the areas of teaching and learning, research, innovation and community projects for the socioeconomic development of communities.

UMP vice-chancellor, Professor Thoko Mayekiso, and her TUT counterpart, Professor Lourens van Staden, signed a memorandum of agreement yesterday that will shortly be followed by the formation of a steering committee to take the process forward.

Both institutions will recognise and give students credits for their respective programmes.

Mayekiso said: “We do not want to reinvent the wheel but want to work with old institutions. We’re a comprehensive institution and we can both offer an information communication technology higher certificate, for example. We offer a tourism diploma but their focus is on eco-tourism so we can have that partnership to assist students to complement their qualifications.”

Van Staden said the institutions would together be able to design a curriculum that is relevant to the Mpumalanga provincial growth development plan because they could complement each other.

“A university should be responsive to the societal needs, so the first step will be to do an analysis. We’ll identify gaps and have joint programmes and see how we can have synergy in tourism for example,” he said.

“This partnership will optimise opportunities and since these institutions do not overlap we will fill the gaps in-between,” Van Staden added.

UMP opened its doors last year. It is one of two universities established by the democratic government. The other one was the Sol Plaatjie University in the Northern Cape.

UMP has 828 students enrolled for agricultural bachelor degrees and diplomas, hospitality management, information communication technology and education (foundation phase teaching) this year.

Next year, the university would introduce a bachelor of commerce (development studies), bachelor of science in agriculture, bachelor of science, advanced diploma in agriculture, bachelor in tourism and heritage studies and a conservation diploma.

TUT has campuses in Mbombela and Emalahleni. The Emalahleni campus focuses on science, engineering and technology.
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