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The University of Venda (UNIVEN) and Botho University have entrenched a vibrant collaboration which commenced in 2014. The two parties met between 25 and 26 March 2019 and looked at some of the challenges experienced during the implementation of the MoU and proffered solutions to improve the process in the new MoU. The meeting agreed that the collaboration in the last 5 years has been productive and the two universities had meaningful engagement and learnt a lot from each other hence the need to renew it for another 5 years with the possibility of expanding the collaboration at various other schools/faculty and departments. The MoU was renewed during a signing ceremony conducted at Botho University, Gaborone campus on 25 March 2019. The meeting evaluated the previous MoU which was adjudged to have been achieved greatly. 

Ms Sheila Ram, Vice-Chancellor, Botho University and Dr Bernard Nthambeleni, Vice-Chancellor and Principal, UNIVEN during the signing ceremony in Botswana 

The Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Dr Bernard Nthambeleni led the delegation while the Acting Director International Relations, Dr Segun Obadire; Director Legal Services, Adv Edward Lambani who officiated the programme; Mr Ndabezinhle Soganile and Mr Kudawaishe Madzima, Lecturer, Computer Science and Information Systems were part of the delegation. The signing ceremony was witnessed by the management team from Botho University including Prof Peter Mbati, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Botho University and former Vice-Chancellor, UNIVEN who was the initiator of the collaboration when it started in 2013. Others were the Pro-Vice-Chancellor Strategy, Mr Ananth Ram; Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Internationalisation, Mr Ravi Srinivasan and the Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Internationalisation, Mr Lucky Moahi, as well as Deans and HoDs, Botho University. 

Ms Sheila Ram and Dr Bernard Nthambeleni 

The one semester student exchange programme in the Department of Computer Science and Information Systems started in the second semester 2015. The exchange programme allows credit transfers for participating students at both universities. Five students from each university were exchanged with a total number of 40 students participating to date. The exchange programme is guided by a signed MoA each year. The students are selected based on merit and academic performances. There have been staff exchange also in the Department of Computer Science and Information Systems and several postgraduate research workshops and masterclasses led by Senior Prof Georges Ekosse and Prof Pascal Bessong. 

Prof Peter Mbati, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Academic Programme, Botho University and Dr Bernard Nthambeleni, UNIVEN Vice-Chancellor and Principal during the ceremony 

Other achievements included the intercultural engagement by the participating students and staff from both universities. Curriculum development in the area of Water resource management by the School of Environmental Sciences is ongoing. Both parties agreed that the collaboration should be expanded to other fields such as staff and student exchanges in the department of Accounting, Tourism and hospitality programmes, external examination of postgraduate programmes in Accounting and MBA, problem-based learning in health programmes, work integrated learning in education, smart Agriculture programme, joint Entrepreneurship programme, short courses should be the focus. 

The delegation also paid a courtesy call to the Office of the South African High Commissioner, Her Excellency Mrs R Mashaba. The delegation received a warm welcome from the High Commissioner who suggested that the two universities should look at the current problem of Early Childhood education and proffer a lasting solution to it in both countries. She promised a high-level support from her office in that regard. 

Issued by: 

Department of Communications & Marketing 

University of Venda 

Tel: (015) 962 8525 

Date: 24 April 2019 

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