On Tuesday, 06 September 2022, the University of Venda (UNIVEN) hosted the 2022 UNIVEN Internationalisation Evening under theme ‘Unleashing Internationalisation for inclusive Development and Global Competitiveness’. This was to support the University’s Strategic Thrust:4 of the University’s 2021-2025 Strategic Plan, particularly Strategic Objective 15: Strengthening the University’s local, regional, and international profile and visibility.

His Excellency Andre Nzapayeke – Dean of the African Heads of Diplomatic Missions – Ambassador of Central African Republic

Dean of the African Heads of Diplomatic Missions, Ambassador of Central African Republic, His Excellency Andre Nzapayeke, spoke about the significance of African Solidarity in the struggle against Neo-colonialism. He said, “The name of this event gives it the dimension for people to travel the world and learn diversity and cultures.” He advised young people to never forget their history as the African struggle against colonialism has a vibrant and dynamic history. “We didn’t only suffer colonialism, but we fought tirelessly for our freedom that we are enjoying today,” he said. 

His excellency said that African solidarity is well stimulated by bantu movement, and it played an important role in the independence process of Africa. He mentioned that African countries need to create better living conditions for their people. He said, “Africans should come back home to serve their people and build their continent for the better. We need a stronger African union that can push and make things happen.” He urged the audience to be Afro centrists. “We are the continent of the future; let us all unite and rebuild the Africa that we want to have.” 

Dr Bernard Nthambeleni – Vice-Chancellor and Principal

In his opening and welcome address, the Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Dr Bernard Nthambeleni mentioned that this event is really valued because it addresses the challenges that the world is exposed to. He mentioned the goal of developing those competencies as being to work together with people from other nationalities, to cultivate the desired social cohesion. 

He further mentioned that UNIVEN was recently awarded a huge grant by the South African Medical Research Council. He said, “This is a very big achievement for this University. With these milestones, UNIVEN is challenged to do much better, especially for its communities.” He mentioned that UNIVEN is leveraging the space in engaged scholarship to serve its communities. He said, “For us to be globally competitive, we need to connect with the world. This is to position UNIVEN for impact, for relevance and impact globally.” 

Dr Nthambeleni alluded that the success of the African continent depends on internationalisation. He said, “we need to work together to build this continent and need to celebrate our diversity.” He mentioned that the gathering was to confirm that we are connected to the issues facing this continent. “The challenges of Africans can only be solved by Africans themselves.” 

Prof Nosisi Feza – DVC research and post Graduate Studies

The purpose and objectives of the event were outlined by DVC research and post Graduate Studies Prof Nosisi Feza who said “UNIVEN has occupied its place in the internationalisation space.” She mentioned that the process of Internationalisation at UNIVEN is fully functioning. She urged the UNIVEN community to appreciate the value of Internationalisation. 

Amongst other things, Prof Feza spoke about the Coil programme. She emphasised the fact that UNIVEN students have displayed tremendous confidence when compared to their European counterparts. The DVC noted that “we need to be proud of who we are and shine in the international arena.” She mentioned that UNIVEN is going to compete internationally with the wine that is produced in South Africa, Venda. She said UNIVEN continually promotes social cohesion and showcases our projects internationally. “This event is also in celebration of the University’s 40th year to reflect on our past and present achievements.” She concluded. 

Dr Eyasu Getu – Director International Relations – Bule Hora University

Bule Hora University, Director International Relations, Dr Eyasu Getu said he travelled more than 1000 kilometers to honour this important evening. He described Bule Hora University as one of the biggest universities that are contributing to socio-economic factors in Ethiopia. He said, “This University is not limited to Ethiopians only, it is for everyone internationally.” He mentioned that Bule Hora wants to collaborate with all universities across the globe especially UNEVEN. Dr Getu said, “Bule Hora invites all universities who are open for partnerships as we want to excel in indigenous knowledge and need other partners who are excelling for us to also excel because we are a young university that seeks mentors in these fields.” He invited scholars that are interested in doing research to work with them. They are welcome. He said, “Today we have started our Internationalisation and South Africa is the first country for MoU because we believe their universities will teach us a lot and we will also teach them some of the things that we know.” 

Ms Ana Maria Pirianu – Warwick University Representative

Warwick University Representative, Ms Ana Maria Pirianu said Internationalisation is very important because now they know about Africa. She said her experience of Africa made it possible for her to get to know about different cultures, different ways of thinking. “This was a fascinating experience for us. We have never been exposed to international environment before and this experience is very different.” She thanked UNIVEN for hosting them and advised the University to continue changing the lives of international students. 

Mr Sibusiso Mkhonto – UNIVEN SRC President

UNIVEN SRC President, Mr Sibusiso Mkhonto said we are moving into a global world. “It is important that the education they are giving us is in alignment with the international standards.” He spoke. Mr Mkhonto mentioned that the fact that UNIVEN is in a rural area does not mean it is rural or cannot compete globally. He further said the opportunities that are brought by internationalisation cannot be measured “We need them to learn about other cultures. To operate internationally means you need to know other people’s culture so that you don’t step on their toes because of lack of knowledge.”

Dr Segun Obadire – Acting Director International Relations and Partnerships

In his remarks, the Acting Director International Relations and Partnerships, Dr Segun Obadire said few students were able to travel internationally and they have changed their way of thinking. Dr Obadire, noted that this event is meant to create awareness around Internationalisation, to promote social cohesion and to showcase and promote Internationalisation at the University.

Adv Edward Lambani – University Registrar

In his vote of thanks, University Registrar, Adv Edward Lambani said UNIVEN is indeed a university, that produces graduates that are locally relevant and globally competitive and a university leading in engaged scholarship. “Internationalisation is part of it,” he said. 

Bule Hora University representatives handing over the gifts to UNIVEN Vice-Chancellor and Principal

Bule Hora University representatives handing over the gifts to Dr Segun Obadire









Attendees of the Internationalisation Evening

Issued by:
Department of Marketing, Branding & Communication
University of Venda
Tel: (015) 962 8525 /8710
Date: 13 September 2022 

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