According to Dr Vathiswa Papu-Zamxaka, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research, Innovation and Engagement, the University’s Lead for the project, the Higher Education Reform Experts – South Africa (HERESA), based in THENSA’s member universities, will form a similar network of South African technology-focussed universities. The network will focus on the revision and reinvigoration of teaching and learning strategies, especially when it comes to Work-Integrated Learning (WIL), entrepreneurship and teaching for the fourth industrial revolution (4IR).
The total award is 754,834.00 Euro (approximately R13 million), which will go a long way to assist in achieving the following objectives:
- Empower SA technical universities to devise and revise strategic plans for development of innovative curricula that integrate, a) 4IR competence-based learning (CBL), b) work integrated learning (WIL) and c) entrepreneurship education; Leadership; Research (cuts across).
- Consolidate a sustainable network of leadership-endorsed higher education reform experts in SA universities that will be agents for change, guiding strategy development process in areas highlighted in SO1.
- Develop higher education reform capacity in network, through Europe-SA training and practice sharing activities.
- Implement revised strategic plans (SO1) by providing technical assistance to SA universities, guided by HERE-SA network and European experts, in areas of a) university academic leadership development, b) innovative curricula development (CBL and WIL) and c) entrepreneurship education.
- Provide basis to expand HERE network in SA and connect it to SA and international policy- making bodies for HE.
Dr Muthaz Banoobhai, Director at Higher education Development Support (HEDS), the University’s Practitioner for the project, stated that the project has special significance in light of the global pandemic and its dramatic impact on South African universities as well as the South African higher education sector in general. “This serves as an important opportunity to strengthen EU-South African university cooperation in teaching and learning and eventually to assess the prospects of expanding the HERE concept to other countries in Africa,” said Dr Banoobhai.
Key participants in the project include the South African Technology Network (SATN); Cape Peninsula University of Technology; Central University of Technology; Durban University of Technology; University of Venda; Walter Sisulu University; South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA); OBREAL Global; Cork Institute of Technology (CIT); Politecnico de Torino; UBFC (Burgundy and Franche-Comté); Tampere University of Applied Sciences (TAMK) and Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan (KTH)