The University of Venda (UNIVEN) and Hubei University of Technology (HBUT) launched the Green Technology Confucius Institute (GTCI) which is different from the others as it has the strong focus on green technologies which will provide an opportunity for South African students and academics to learn from one of the world’s leading universities on best practices on green technological solutions in education. The launch took place at UNIVEN Auditorium on Tuesday, 05 December 2023.
In his welcoming remarks, the Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Prof Bernard Nthambeleni mentioned that the Green Technology Confucius Institute launched, is a joint initiative that will be co-directed by the University of Venda and the Hubei University of Technology. He said the establishment of this joint Green Technology Confucius Institute at the University of Venda is a symbol of collaboration and mutual respect and stands as a bridge to connect our cultures and people.
Prof Nthambeleni said, “Our hope is that through this initiative we would be able to leverage on the strength of Hubei University of Technology’s green technology standing and status in the world to create a path for our researchers and students to have access to international training around green industry talents that our country is in dire need of”. He further highlighted that the institute will be a platform for dialogue, where ideas are exchanged, and partnerships are forged. “Our aim is to foster a deep understanding of
the intricate relationship between humanity and the environment, and to develop innovative solutions that promote ecological integrity.”
He cited that the establishment of this joint Green Technology Confucius Institute at UNIVEN came at the opportune time just few months ago where SENATE has approved the establishment of the Centre of Excellence in Renewable Energy which should be coordinated within the Green Technology Confucius Institute. Furthermore, he articulated that the establishment of this joint Green Technology Confucius Institute together with the university partnership with the Central Energy Fund will improve our renewable energy strategy, research and development in student training, funding, and new areas of renewable energy research profoundly.
Prof Nthambeleni concluded by extending his gratitude to everyone who contributed to the establishment of this Institute.


Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation, Dr Blade Nzimande sent a recorded congratulatory message to the University of Venda for their collaboration with Hubei University of Technology. The Minister indicated that currently there are 6 Confucius Institutes operating in the following South African universities, namely, Stellenbosch University, Rhodes University, University of Johannesburg, University of Cape Town, Durban University of Technology and the University of the Western Cape, hence UNIVEN is the 7th to host Confucius Institute in South Africa. The objectives of Confucius Institutes and classrooms are to promote the learning of Chinese language,
culture, and medicine. However, The Confucius Institute at UNIVEN will be different from the others as it will focus on Green Technology.
The Minister said that Green Technology Confucius Institute is important as the world is faced with overwhelming challenges of climate change which are already harming human health through air pollution, diseases, extreme weather conditions, false displacement pressures on mental health and increased hunger and poverty, lack of nutrition in places where people cannot grow or find sufficient food. He further said “The establishment of this Confucius Institute will indeed benefit South Africa as it will provide training opportunities and new skills sets, that ordinarily will not be offered in the South African education and training system. I am confident that educational partnership between South African and China over the years will continue to improve the development of our post school education and training system.”
The launch received recorded messages of support from His Excellency Ambassador Chen Xiaodong: Chinese Ambassador to South Africa; and Mr. Zhao Lingshan, The Secretary of Chinese International Education Foundation (CIEF), China; while Prof. Peng Yuyuan, Chair of the University Committee, HBUT presented his message to the audience at the event.
There were also messages of support from Limpopo Provincial Government where Ms Mavhungu Lerule–Ramakhanya, MEC of Education said Green Technology is definitely the future and the new way of life. The partnership will also benefit the learners in our schools. She further said it will enhance learners’ knowledge on Green Technology.
Cllr Josephine Mukwevho representing the Executive Mayor of Vhembe District Municipality said, this collaboration will develop the community through job creation, it will also teach the community the Chinese culture. “This programme will take us to greater heights,” she added.
Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research and Postgraduate Studies, Prof. Nosisi Feza in her vote of thanks extended her gratitude to everyone who contributed to the success of the event.
This was followed by a signing of Agreement between UNIVEN represented by Prof Nthambeleni and Prof Peng Yuyuan representing HBUT. The signing ceremony was facilitated by Adv Eric Nemukula, Director of UNIVEN Legal Services.
Later on the programme there were handover of books and Artworks. The programme ended by a ribbon cutting and plaque unveiling that took place at the University Art Gallery, led by UNIVEN Chancellor, Adv Mojanku Gumbi.
The Co-programme facilitators were Dr Takalani Dzaga, Director Marketing, Branding and Communication and Prof Grace Ge for Hubei University of Technology.
Below is the launch in pictures:

Issued by:
Department of Marketing, Branding and Communication
University of Venda
Tel: 015 962 8525 /8710
Date: 07 December 2023

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