Partnership agreement extended

2019-03-06 06:03
The Central University of Technology (CUT), Free State, and the Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality have renewed their partnership agreement by signing a memorandum of understanding. From the left are Adv. Tankiso Mea (municipal manager of the Mangaung Metro), Olly Mlamleli (executive mayor of the Mangaung Metro), Prof. Henk de Jager (vice-chancellor and principal of CUT) and Prof. Alfred Ngowi (deputy vice-chancellor: Research, Innovation and Engagement). Photo: Supplied

The Central University of Technology (CUT), Free State, and the Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality have renewed their partnership agreement by signing a memorandum of understanding. From the left are Adv. Tankiso Mea (municipal manager of the Mangaung Metro), Olly Mlamleli (executive mayor of the Mangaung Metro), Prof. Henk de Jager (vice-chancellor and principal of CUT) and Prof. Alfred Ngowi (deputy vice-chancellor: Research, Innovation and Engagement). Photo: Supplied

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The Central University of Technology (CUT), Free State, and the Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality have renewed their partnership agreement by signing a memorandum of understanding.

The parties signed the memorandum in middle February after they agreed on terms.

This is an extension of an agreement the parties first entered in 2016.

They agreed to establish a framework for the negotiation of the proposed cooperation between them and contribute to the development of the Free State.

Prof. Henk de Jager, vice-chancellor and principal of CUT, said that both national and international higher education sectors were facing many changes.

He said as universities their role is critical in joining forces with the government to come up with solutions to challenges.

“As a university, we are proud to be associated with the city and we believe that as critical role players, together with Mangaung Metro, we can build and mould the economy of this region and beyond,” said De Jager.

He said that CUT is focused on producing social and technological innovations to enhance the socio-economic development of the region and beyond.

“We want to instil entrepreneurial skills among our students – we can achieve this in partnership,” he said.

According to De Jager, among other issues that need attention include road closures, safety and security, visibility in the city and land swop. He emphasised the importance of a forum between the city, the two local higher institutions – the University of the Free State and CUT – to work together.

“This would strengthen capabilities and impact positively on socio-economic development,” he said.

Olly Mlamleli, mayor of the Mangaung Metro, said the memorandum only provides a framework for further discussions on specific disciplines that are critical for cooperation, namely training and skills development, research and innovation, and economic development.

“I consider these areas of cooperation as disciplines because we expect the university to evoke expertise on relevant theoretical and empirical perspective to help us master the day to day practices of these issues.

“We do not want to lean on consultation services when facing complex issues, but we desire your expertise to balance interdependence and institutional autonomy between our organisations.

“This interdependence will unlock other plans for the institution. Together let us establish the city to be globally safe to work, invest and live in as envisaged by the municipal council,” she said.

According to Mlamleli, the current education system is struggling to produce job-ready graduates.

“Our education system must be able to produce people who will be able to help us drive the economy and bring solutions to challenges faced.

“We must be able to come up with noble ideas and think outside the box. I want to challenge this institution to come on board, assist and advise us.

“We seek to empower our people to stand a better chance of contributing to local community development reconciliation and realise the ultimate goal of establishing developmental local government,” she said.

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