Internationalisation of higher education has become a priority among most universities globally as it enhances a distinct advantage in the quality of a university’s core business and produces graduates that are able to compete in the global village. Strategic Thrust:4 of the University of Venda’s Strategic Plan 2021-2025 speaks about Linkages, Partnerships, and Internationalisation. It is for this reason that UNIVEN’s International Relations and Partnerships Directorate recently hosted KAUNAS University of Applied Science at UNIVEN Council Chambers. This meeting was intended to gauge the progress in the partnership, discuss the opportunities under the Erasmus plus mobility programme and share ideas on how entrepreneurship can be inculcated in the university’s core business.
The Acting Director International Relations and Partnerships, Dr Segun Obadire presided over the meeting.
Partnership Officer, Mr Thabo Dikgale gave a brief presentation on the history of the University of Venda and its important geographical and historical setting in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region. Mr Dikgale highlighted the range of programmes offered at UNIVEN. He further noted that there are specialised research fields that UNIVEN is striving for until 2025.
Mr Dikgale mentioned that UNIVEN coordinates internationalisation programmes, supports entrepreneurship and social cohesion among both domestic and international students. He outlined that the Buddy Programme and the Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) programmes are examples of how we can connect UNIVEN with the local and international community.
Internationalisation and partnerships officers from Kaunas University of Applied Sciences, Ms Jolanta Valiaugiene and Mr Wilfred Ledoux Tchasse presented about the Kauno Kolegija and outlined their geographical position and programmes offered in English at Kauno Kolegija Higher Education Institution, Lithuania. They highlighted that their institution does not offer masters programmes, but this programme will be introduced in the year 2028.
The Kauno Kolegija Higher Education Institution Internationalisation and partnerships officers stated that the purpose of their visit was to increase regional collaboration on social entrepreneurship and skills development. They pointed out that the initiative, in conjunction with Erasmus+, emphasises the best practices for entrepreneurship, collaboration and knowledge transfer for social entrepreneurship and other ventures like tourism, as well as capacity building and global citizenship.
Ms Jolanta Valiaugiene emphasised how Kauno Kolegija worked together with businesses, having students create proposals and make job proposals to businesses. She also emphasised the need for sustainability and a greener planet. The areas of the partnership were also discussed where she mentioned that a contract is in place for Kaunas University of Applied Sciences to consider two students and three staff members from UNIVEN for the Mobility Programme in 2023.
Mr Wilfred Ledoux Tchasse highlighted that the funds for Mobility under Erasmus plus seek to expand to other African nations and UNIVEN can assist with their linkages and partners in the region. He added that Kauno Kolegija Higher Education Institution prioritises domestic internationalisation and that they would encourage travel and student exchanges to UNIVEN.
Representing the Executive Dean of the Faculty of Management, Commerce and Law, Prof Armstrong Kadyamatimba gave a brief Overview of UNIVEN programmes in Business, Commerce and Law as well as research. He emphasised sustainable entrepreneurship and areas of research on social issues and protection as possible research areas that can pursued.
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University of Venda
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Date: 03 March 2023