It was yet another successful meeting between the University of Venda and the Manufacturing, Engineering and Related Services Sector Education and Training Authority (MERSETA). The meeting was held on Wednesday, 01 February 2017 to explore opportunities for partnerships in skills development.
Currently, the University of Venda and MERSETA have an existing Memorandum of Understanding to implement various skills development interventions designed to empower rural learners in Science Engineering and Technology; funding for University of Venda Postgraduate Students and capacity Building for TVET Colleges in the Vhembe District.
Univen Deputy Vice Chancellor, Prof Jan Crafford in opening the meeting indicated that the University of Venda is progressing well with preparations for the introduction of engineering qualifications and the establishment of a new School of Engineering Sciences. Prof Crafford further indicated that the University of Venda is exploring various options with regard to the type, level and nature of the new qualifications and will be collaborating closely with the University of Witwatersrand. The collaboration with Wits will include a student exchange programme between the two universities, which will result in skills transfer and multiple pathways for students into engineering studies at both universities. Prof Crafford said “we are happy to introduce these programmes but we are also concerned with funding for students who will enrol in these programmes”.
Wayne Adams (MERSETA COO) indicated that the SETA would like to develop and sustain a long-term relationship with the university. He showed that MERSETA would like to pursue a more transformative approach to skills development including the targeted training of women in engineering; Science Education in rural Schools as well as bursaries for deserving students who are interested in pursuing manufacturing and engineering fields. Mr Christo Basson, (MERSETA Senior Manager ETQA and Partnerships) said “we are 100 percent behind the new programmes that are under way and we are happy to give support to Univen”.
The partners also agreed to explore avenues for assisting students who are doing Work Integrated Learning (WIL) in relevant fields. It was also agreed that the student funding model explored for both WIL and student’s bursaries will extend beyond just committing funding to students. The funding will also support students in life skills development, counselling and support.
It was agreed in the meeting that, the University will develop funding proposals and submit same to MERSETA for consideration in the near future.
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