The University of Venda’s Department of Forestry has collaborated with four South African higher education institutions that provide the Forestry programme. The partnership is made possible by the Erasmus+-funded project called FOREST21 (Partners | FOREST21). FOREST21 is a collaborative effort to develop forestry expertise in South African higher education. The initiative is being carried out in partnership with five South African higher education institutions (HEIs) that have forestry curriculum or those that will soon begin to teach forestry. The partnering institutions are University of Venda, Stellenbosch University, Nelson Mandela University, Fort Cox Institute for Agriculture and Forestry and Tshwane University of Technology. 

On photo: coordinators who attended the symposium at the Nelson Mandela University

Promoting climate-smart forestry and entrepreneurial innovation in forestry education will result in employment creation as well as climate change mitigation. FOREST21 is being implemented through restructuring forestry entrepreneurship school curriculum to provide graduates with problem-solving competencies, an entrepreneurial attitude, and climate-smart thinking. 

This project is a problem-based learning (PBL) methodologies and student-centered teaching. Students learn through tackling real-world business issues in international teams. FOREST21 is based on tight engagement with the industrial sector, as well as professors and administrative personnel at partner HEIs, in order to identify best practices in the local environment. 

On photo: Professor Peter Adesoye, Mr Rollet Ramavhale and Mr Precious Munyanduki

Three staff members in the Department of Forestry and FOREST21 coordinators Professor Peter Adesoye, Mr. Rollet Ramavhale, and Mr. Precious Munyanduki, recently attended a Forest21 conference at Nelson Mandela University with the theme: 21st Century Climate-Smart Forestry Education for Livelihood and Sustainability in South Africa. The programme was covered by SABC and can be accessed on this video link: The meeting was designed to address the following three important issues: Contextualize climate change, its implications for the Forest Industry and entrepreneurial opportunities towards improved sustainability; Identify and document appropriate and viable Student Challenges that can inform revised academic curricula; and Further training of academics in Problem Based Learning, using draft Student Challenges. 

The meeting was attended by coordinators from other South African higher education institutions that offer the Forestry programme as well as coordinators from three institutions (Aalto University – Finland, Häme University of Applied Sciences – Norway and Häme University of Applied Sciences – Finland) and in the Nordic countries. 

Prepared by: Mr. Rollet P. Ramavhale
Issued by: Department of Marketing, Branding and Communication
University of Venda
Tel: (015) 962 8525 / 8710
Date: 15 September 2022 

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