On Monday, 11 March 2024, the University of Venda (UNIVEN) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Mining Qualifications Authority (MQA). The signing ceremony took place at the University’s Research Conference Centre. The signed MoU will assist the two parties collaborating to implement skills development initiatives in the mining and mineral sector. This will assist both UNIVEN academic staff and students.

Prior to the signing ceremony of this MoU, a meeting was held between UNIVEN and MQA. The two parties agreed in principle to enter into a partnership agreement. They further agreed to work together for purposes of collaboration in activities and/or interventions for implementation of skills development in line with relevant prescripts including the MQA’s Funding Policy. The parties also agreed to cooperate and collaborate in Learning Programmes, Research Partnerships and Community Development areas. Learning programmes will include bursaries, lecturer support, learner support programmes, placement of bursars for work integrated learning, graduates work placement and career guidance while research partnerships will be based on different industry sectors on skill development, mentorship and coaching including postgraduate and staff projects. On Community Development, the
collaboration will be based on youth development programmes and small business support in the area of entrepreneurship and special courses on entrepreneurial activities and skills.UNIVEN Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Prof Bernard Nthambeleni was delighted about the signing of this MoU as it will assist academic staff, students, and the surrounding communities. Prof Nthambeleni assured MQA delegation led by the CEO, Dr Thabo Moshongoane that UNIVEN will make sure that this MoU and collaboration becomes a success.When giving the background of MQA, CEO, Dr Thabo Moshongoane expressed that this MoU will assist UNIVEN staff and students with more than bursaries and lecturers’
support. “MQA exists to serve universities such as UNIVEN,” he said. Amongst other things, Dr Moshongoane spoke about track record in support of UNIVEN students. He further explained the way the MQA bursary scheme operates, including the application process and selection criteria. “We always do our level best to assist institutions of higher learning,” he concluded.Senior Manager: Strategic Projects, Ms Zodwa Mashinini spoke about learning programmes and strategic projects where she highlighted the historical partnership between UNIVEN and MQA (HEI Lecturer Support) before the signing of the MoU. She indicated that the MQA learnerships and internships can fund up to R9000 per month per learner for a period of two years. This is to assist graduates to gain experience in their fields. She said these interns are placed at various universities and those doing Geology can be placed at various mining companies.
Senior Manager: Limpopo, Northern Cape and Gauteng, Ms Bridget Mathebula unpacked MQA Community Development Projects The Executive Dean of the Faculty of Science Engineering and Agriculture, Prof Natasha Potgieter presented the brief overview of the institution (UNIVEN) including
the strategic priorities. She briefed the delegation about the number of students and Lecturer support in her Faculty funded by MQA.

The UNIVEN CFO, Mr Botwe Kraziya presented the overview of the current Financial Aid and bursary programmes at UNIVEN and further highlighted specific challenges and opportunities related to student financial support. He said some of the opportunities related to student financial support include small business support through the UNIVEN Centre for Entrepreneurship and Rapid Incubation.

Issued by:
Department of Marketing, Branding and Communication
University of Venda
Tel: (015) 962 8525 /8710
Date: 15 March 2024

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