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The IMPALA project was an Erasmus + Key Action 2: Capacity Building in Higher Education programme, funded by the European Commission. Its aim was to set up a network of European and South African universities and educational organizations to respond to the needs in the South African higher education community. The project will be ending in 2018 and it is now in the final stages of consolidating its outputs since its inception in 2015. 

Prof Jan Crafford, Acting Vice-Chancellor and Principal during the Conference 

The IMPALA project Conference was held at the Double Tree by Hilton in Cape Town between 8 and 10 November 2018. The Conference was organized for both participants from four South African partner Universities, the European partners and the public. UNIVEN was represented by 15 staff members which included senior managers, academics and administrative staff. The Acting Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Prof Jan Crafford led the delegation to the Conference. Also participating in the Conference is the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Operations), Dr Robert Martin. 

Some of the participants from the University of Venda at the Conference 

The conference involved the following four workgroups: Short term programmes and Summer schools; Internationalisation of the curriculum (COIL and Decolonisation of the curriculum); Project writing and management and Mobility toolkit. Group presentations took place on all the tracks and the presentation from the UNIVEN group was well received. IMPALA project now has a blog where all the toolbox for the tracks are uploaded. The website is available for anyone to access all the resources from IMPALA project for free. 

Participants pose for a picture during the conference 

IMPALA project aspired to develop clear and viable internationalization strategies within the South African partner universities to bring them up to par and give them a much-needed head start for future international cooperation initiatives. The project sought to bring the South African partner universities to a more advanced level in terms of management and strategies of internationalization through the training of staff and the strengthening of structures and policies. Several management and international office staff members were trained on how to draft new or review old internationalization policy document at the South African partner Universities. This was achieved during the period of the project. 

Another land mark in the project is the establishment of Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) laboratories opened at all the four partner universities. With these laboratories, it is very easy to establish collaborative teaching curricula between partners in Europe or elsewhere and SA universities including UNIVEN. There were workshops on the improvement on IMPALA deliverables and new people were also introduced to the use of COIL programme. The COIL equipment installation for UNIVEN was completed on 29 November 2018. IMPALA has been very fruitful, and it has created a community of practice among all the participants. 

Issued by: Department of Communications and Marketing 

University of Venda 
Tel: 015 962 8525 
Date: 03 December 2018