The University of Venda’s (UNIVEN) Directorate of International Relations and Partnerships celebrated Internationalisation Week in September 2023. The theme of this year’s event was “Internationalisation for who? The Role of Internalisation in Positioning the University of Venda for Impact and Relevance: Internalisation of Higher Education Curriculum and Language Policy.” Mr. Thabo Dikgale, the University’s Partnership Officer, stated that “internationalisation of higher education is becoming a critical component of the Higher Education sector, and as such UNIVEN must champion this programme in order to establish and strengthen strategic local, regional, and international partnerships and collaborations in respect of teaching and learning, community engagement, as well as research and innovation that contribute significantly to the sector.” Dikgale further said “this was a week of learning, not only about internationalisation but what is our significance as Africans in the world”. He said it’s a concept that also encompasses historical African values. Dikgale said that because of its location, the University of Venda has many international students and staff who are greatly assisting the university in research and development, which would ultimately place UNIVEN in a good standing position across the continent and globally.
The 3-day programme was attended by students, staff and organisations in such as the University of Venda International Students Union (UNISU) and South African Sweden University Forum (SASUF) student network, the University of the Free State, Mangosuthu University of Technology, University of Limpopo, Department of Science and Innovation, Botho University (Botswana), Bulawayo Polytech and Lupane State University (Zimbabwe) Mr Jako Mokete David, UNISU Chairperson, presented on the activities and responsibility of Student Governance. He said, UNISU provides academic assistance, advocacy, and support, as well as a platform for international and professional development. Jako further mentioned that many international students are interested in studying at UNIVEN because of its flexibility and conducive learning environment. “Students from all over the continent travel to UNIVEN for an education, to experience culture and variety, and because the university is located in Venda, where the society emphasizes inclusivity, tolerance, and respect, international students adjust quickly,” said Jako. Mr Simba Matema, National Coordinator of the South Africa Sweden University Forum (SASUF), stated in his remarks that the University of Venda is home to numerous international students. “It is a home to many international students who get to learn about a new culture and share their experiences, own cultures, and values with the South Africans” he stated. He praised the University administration for creating a welcoming environment for all students, regardless of where they came from. “Moving to a new location away from everything and everyone as an international student is one difficult task but the University management made it easier for everyone to be accommodated and feel at home”, Matema said.
On the final day of the three-day programme, university students competed in the Mr and Mrs Heritage beauty pageant, while others were dressed in traditional clothing to showcase their culture.
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University of Venda
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Date: 6 November 2023