CUT joins global body

Prof. Alfred Ngowi, deputy vice-chancellor for research at the Central University of Technology, Free State. Photo: Supplied
Prof. Alfred Ngowi, deputy vice-chancellor for research at the Central University of Technology, Free State. Photo: Supplied

The Central University of Technology, Free State (CUT), is the newest member of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Abdul Latif Jameel World Education Lab (J-WEL), a collaboration between institutions of higher education.

CUT has become the first university in Southern Africa to join J-WEL.

An initiative of MIT and Community Jameel, J-WEL promotes excellence and transformation in education by engaging educators, technologists, policymakers, societal leaders, employers and employees.

Through in-person and online collaborations, workshops, research and information-sharing events, J-WEL member organisations – including schools, universities, NGOs, government agencies and companies – work with MIT faculties and staff to address global opportunities for scalable change in education.

CUT joins a community of 33 other colleges, universities, non-profit organisations, government agencies and companies.

The members focus on addressing the world’s most pressing education challenges and exploring opportunities presented by new educational technologies, effective practices and emerging scientific understandings of learning.

Other members include the Mongolian University of Science and Technology (Mongolia), National University of Colombia (Colombia), Njala University (Sierra Leone) and the Ahmadu Bello University (Nigeria).

Prof. Alfred Ngowi, CUT’s deputy vice-chancellor for research, envisages that by 2030, CUT will be a leading African university in shaping the future through innovation.

“One of the strategies of pursuing this vision is to establish robust collaboration with industries and other institutions that have a track record in innovating education and developing entrepreneurship.”

Julia Reynolds-Cuéllar, associate director for J-WEL Higher Education, expressed confidence in CUT’s participation.

“Our collaboration stems from key connections built through MIT’s South Africa programme,” she said.

“We welcome CUT as an important member and contributor to our community, such that we can learn from and leverage the work they are doing to reform South African higher education.”

In October 2020, CUT representatives joined 221 other practitioners and educators from around the globe to participate in the second J-WEL Connections programme.

Participants were able to see and discuss how diverse institutions, including CUT, are responding to Covid-19 and other complex challenges.

CUT representatives will again join the J-WEL community for the next J-WEL Connections programme in April.

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