Five institutions to collaborate

2018-12-05 06:02
Representatives of education institutions are from the left Prof. Henk de Jager (vice-chancellor and principal, Central University of Technology), Prof. Yunus Ballim (vice-chancellor and principal, Sol Plaatje University), Dipiloane Phutsisi (principal of Motheo TVET College), Prof. Puleng Lenka-Bula (vice-rector: Institutional Change, Student Affairs and Community Engagement, University of the Free State), Prof. Nicky Morgan (coordinator: Higher Education Regional Development Initiative of Central South Africa) and Brian Madalane, (principal, Northern Cape Urban TVET College).Photo: Supplied

Representatives of education institutions are from the left Prof. Henk de Jager (vice-chancellor and principal, Central University of Technology), Prof. Yunus Ballim (vice-chancellor and principal, Sol Plaatje University), Dipiloane Phutsisi (principal of Motheo TVET College), Prof. Puleng Lenka-Bula (vice-rector: Institutional Change, Student Affairs and Community Engagement, University of the Free State), Prof. Nicky Morgan (coordinator: Higher Education Regional Development Initiative of Central South Africa) and Brian Madalane, (principal, Northern Cape Urban TVET College).Photo: Supplied

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Five higher education institutions in the Free State and Northern Cape have agreed to share core expertise in the field of education.

They are the Motheo TVET College in Bloemfontein, Northern Cape Urban TVET College in Kimberley, Sol Plaatje University (SPU) in Kimberley, University of the Free State (UFS) at the Bloemfontein and Qwaqwa campuses and the Central University of Technology, Free State (CUT) at the Bloemfontein and Welkom campuses.

After agreeing on collaboration, these institutions have established the Higher Education Regional Development Initiative of Central South Africa (Herdic-SA). This body was finalised during an inaugural meeting on 14 November in Bloemfontein.

The body is envisaged to fundamentally strengthening expertise for the education system to address challenges within the central region.

Lacea Loader, director: communication and marketing at UFS, said through Herdic-SA, institutions will collaborate to deliver operational and academic benefits to each institution, to increase benefits to communities in the region, and to respond to the need for high-level learning opportunities in South Africa.

“The collaboration with critical stakeholders in support of development in the region, as expressed in the partnership of teaching, learning, research, and engaged scholarship aspirations and the pursuit of mutually beneficial synergies and benefits of scale in critical support structures, was highlighted.

“It was unanimously agreed that working together for enhanced access to higher education, staff development, and student welfare initiatives, as well as regional collaborations with the wider public sector and business, could have a transformative effect on the capacity and sustainability of the communities in the central inland region.

“Also highlighted was the importance of collaboration between higher-education institutions and colleges of technical and vocational education training in creating synergies and leveraging joint capabilities to enhance development,” said Loader.

The focus areas include operational efficiencies (including shared services), articulation between the institutions (including teaching and learning), research and innovation, community engagement (including marketing and communication) and staff development.

“The operational model will consist of task teams for each of the focus areas, consisting of representatives from each member institution. The task teams will report to a steering committee. It is envisaged that Herdic-SA will be operational by March 2019.”

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