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7 July 2023
Towards SDG 17: UWC actively engaging in partnership development

The University of the Western Cape (UWC) has made valuable contributions towards driving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and especially SDG 17, which focuses on partnerships. 

Professor José Frantz, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research and Innovation, attended the COREViP 2023 conference of rectors, vice-chancellors and presidents of African universities in Namibia and was able to strengthen our partnership with the University of Namibia (UNAM) as well as Zhejiang Normal University in China. 

The theme for the CORViP conference was: Advancing Excellence in African Higher Education. The conference found that the key stakeholders that need to be engaged sre academics who, through collaborative staff development programmes, can be empowered and capacitated. Prof Kenneth Matengu, the Vice-Chancellor of UNAM, said during the opening ceremony: “What we know we must share; what we don't know we must ask.”

Prof Frantz (UWC) and Prof Matengu (UNAM) signing the agreement 

Through the partnership with UNAM, UWC’s PEEP ((Purpose, Equip, Environment, People)) research leadership programme was launched at the COREVip conference. It will be rolled out at UNAM to develop the next generation of leaders. 

Prof Frantz said at the conference: “We are responding to sharing some of what we know and learning with and from each other.” 

Prof Frantz and her team started module one of the PEEP programme with research leaders across the 12 campuses of UNAM. The commitment to continue this programme was endorsed with the signing of a MOU between Prof Frantz and Prof Matengu.

In addition, at the conference the Africa-China consortium of universities exchange mechanism was launched with the President of Zhejiang Normal University, Prof Jiang Yunliang, highlighting that  50 universities in China would like to partner with 50 universities in Africa. 

UWC was able to present details about the University’s association with Chinese universities. UWC and Zhejiang Normal University consolidated their partnership by signing a renewed agreement, illustrating their commitment to the Africa-China consortium of universities' exchange mechanism. As part of the agreement, UWC established the following collaborative themes, namely: Computer Science and Digital Transformation, Plant Science, sport for development, youth leadership, and joint Master’s and PhD degrees. 

President of Zhejiang Normal University, Prof Jiang Yunliang, and DVC: Research and Innovation of UWC, Prof Frantz, signing the MOU.

Prof Frantz said the purpose of launching PEEP in Namibia is to create an awareness among emerging and mid-career researchers of the leadership role they could play in the higher education sector. The programme focused on assisting participants to find their leadership purpose. It provided researchers with skills to equip them to be the next generation of leaders and helped them use influential conversations to claim their space. This past week saw participants from UNAM actively engage in module 1 of the 4 module programme.