Members of Ibadan University were left highly impressed following a high level lecture delivered by the Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Venda, Prof Peter Mbati. Prof Mbati delivered an inciting lecture titled “Transforming a University to meet National Development Goals: The case of the University of Venda, South Africa”. The event took place on Tuesday, 11July 2017 at the University of Ibadan Conference Centre Main Hall which was full beyond its capacity. The lecture was delivered as the 71st Interdisciplinary Research Discourse of the University of Ibadan. The Vice Chancellor and Principal, Prof Mbati was accompanied by the Dean of the School of Agriculture, Prof Godwin Mchau and Directors of International Relations, Cornelius Hagenmeier and Communications and Marketing, Takalani Dzaga.
The Vice-Chancellor prefaced his lecture by sharing with the audience a brief history about the University of Venda including the effective implementation of the turnaround strategy. In his presentation, the Vice-Chancellor effusively covered amongst others the University’s academic reengineering process, from a traditional to comprehensive University, regular refinement of the University strategic plan, development of infrastructure in support of the academic project, improving the quality of student lives on campus, financial sustainability of the University, internationalisation, partnerships, and linkages, launch of institutional transformation charter as well as an incredible increase in research output.
The Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Venda, Professor Peter Mbati said “The University of Venda is an internationally oriented rapidly growing, vibrant comprehensive University with a vision and mission to be a leading regional African University and amongst the top South African universities in 2030. The University has recently experienced a rapid rise in research outputs and impressive graduation rates, rapid growth in infrastructure development in support of the academic core project and quality of student life”. This was all made possible because of the incredible support by the University Council, the highest governing structure of the University.
Prof Mbati also shared with the audience the pivotal role that UNIVEN plays in the field of Community Engagement. He further said that UNIVEN is proud of the community based research conducted the Institute for Rural Development. According to Prof Mbati, International in community engaged partnerships are specific strength of the University. When sharing, pillars of the University’s transformation journey with the audience, Prof Mbati said that UNIVEN wholly embraces transformation in its fullest sense. Its University Community is committed to working together in the spirit of Ubuntu to achieve the transformation necessary to ensure that it strengthens its position as locally relevant, but globally competitive institution of higher learning in which all members of the community, irrespective of race, gender or nationality feel welcome and motivated to contribute to its success. He alluded that the University provides for the needs of its physically challenged students through its dedicated disabled student unit. During the questions and comments session, the audience could not hide their appreciation and excitement about the role that UNIVEN played in its transformation journey and the Vice-Chancellor was commended for that.
The purpose of the visit by the Vice-Chancellor and Principal’s delegation to the University of Ibadan from 11 to 14 July 2017 was to operationalize the memorandum of understanding entered into by and between the two universities, more than four years ago. During the visit at the University of Ibadan, the delegation had the opportunity of interacting with academic staff members from various Faculties, which included Agriculture, Humanities and Arts, Education and Law. One of the focal areas of the visit was collaboration between the Univen’s emerging Center of Excellence in Agriculture and the University of Ibadan’s Faculty of Agriculture. Areas in which intensified academic co-operation is planned include Aquaculture and Fisheries Management as well as Food Science and Technology.
During the courtesy visit to the University of Ibadan Vice-Chancellor Professor Abel Idowu Olayinka, both Universities pledged their commitment to intensify the collaboration under the existing Memorandum of Understanding. Both ViceChancellors undertook to provide the necessary support to ensure effective implementation of the MoU. Concrete collaborative activities were identified in Agriculture. Building on the historic collaboration in Food Science and Technology, the universities intend to strengthen in Univen’s Center for Excellence in Agriculture and School of Law.
Univen’s Dean of Agriculture Prof Godwin Mchau visited the Faculty of Agriculture, including its innovative Department of Aquaculture, to decide together with his counterparts on the next steps for the partnership in this academic field.
On the side of the engagement, Dr Ademola Jegede from Univen’s School of Law, visited Ibadan’s Faculty of Law to engage with the Dean on collaboration in law. Agreement was reached to intensify the partnership between Ibadan and Univen in the field of Law.
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