25 February 2022

University-Industry partnership results in scholarships worth millions

A partnership between the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) and the Transport Education Training Authority (TETA), has resulted in scholarships worth R2.4 Million for twelve Masters and eight Doctoral students from the Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment (FEBE).

Dr Vathiswa-Papu Zamxaka.

Dr Vathiswa-Papu Zamxaka who spearheads the University’s Research, Innovation and Engagement, was delighted about the news. “TUT welcomes TETA’s scholarship awards and the opportunities it will provide our students. The relationship we have formed with TETA was initially cemented when we launched the Gibela Research Chair in Manufacturing and Skills Development, under the leadership of Prof Khumbulani Mpofu, in 2021. The many engagements that followed resulted in the scholarship awards we celebrate today,” said Dr Papu-Zamxaka.

She added: “Building a more comprehensive relationship with industry and funders, has enabled us to learn more about their interests and motivations. Through engagements and interactions, we were able to gather more information, which enabled us to tweak or tailor our applications to be even more relevant to their interests. It enabled us to share the great stories of our work and University, which resonated with them. This deeper understanding of their motivations truly brought us to where we are now. We are excited and proud of the relation we have with TETA.”

TETA is one of the 21 SETAs mandated to facilitate skills development and training in different economic sectors of South Africa. TETA’s areas of operation cut across rail, aerospace, maritime, road freight, road passenger, taxi, freight handling, and forwarding and clearing subsectors. The authority is committed to ensuring that through the implementation of the National Skills Development Plan (NSDP) a pool of individuals highly skilled, competitive and competent to function effectively within the transport sector is built.

Mr Isaac Tlhabadira.

Isaac Tlhabadira, Manager: Community Engagement and Industrial Grid at FEBE, said the scholarship came at a perfect time. “The Faculty is currently rated number one amongst the top engineering faculties in South Africa. The Faculty continues to be at the forefront of Technology and Innovation and collaborates with local and international industries. Research is conducted in the new era of innovation in technology that covers the internet of things (IoT), augmented and virtual reality (VR), artificial intelligence, cloud technology, robotics, 3D and D4 printing, amongst others. However, what are the next steps for engineers of the future? In the wake of constant change and technological developments, there is a call for engineers and technologists to reflect on the past and to plan for what may await. Amidst a global pandemic, the need for research, reflection and planning may be of greater importance now, more than ever before. The scholarship awards will go a long way to prepare our students for the future of work,” said Tlhabadira.

Dr Grace Kanakana.

Dr Grace Kanakana, Executive Dean of FEBE said: “Being at the beginning of the academic year, the student scholarships arrived at the right time. Many of the students who aspire to enroll for masters and doctoral studies will be able to register because of this funding. The faculty strives to drive innovation for a sustainable society and the funding will go a long way to assist us to work towards our vision”.

“Through this funding, FEBE will be able to continue with the innovation agenda as per TUT’s vision as well as engage in applied research aimed at improving the transport sector. The faculty would like to thank TETA, TUT’s R&I office and the IE department for working together to ensure that the funding is secured effectively. Riri Avhari tshilele, Rolivhuwa, Aah,” said Dr Kanakana. 

For more information on the Tshwane University of Technology, please contact Phaphama Tshisikhawe, Corporate Affairs and Marketing.
Tel: +27 12 382 4711   Email: tshisikhawerpt@tut.ac.za