Friday, 25 February 2022

Vice-Chancellor welcomes French delegation

ACADEMIC COOPERATION: French Embassy delegate, Dr Moncef Meddeb; Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research, Technology, Innovation and Partnerships, Dr David Phaho;  Executive Director: Office of the Vice-Chancellor, Prof Driekie Hay-Swemmer; French Embassy delegate Vincent Perrier and Vice-Chancellor, Prof Chris Nhlapo at the Cape Town Hotel School. ACADEMIC COOPERATION: French Embassy delegate, Dr Moncef Meddeb; Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research, Technology, Innovation and Partnerships, Dr David Phaho; Executive Director: Office of the Vice-Chancellor, Prof Driekie Hay-Swemmer; French Embassy delegate Vincent Perrier and Vice-Chancellor, Prof Chris Nhlapo at the Cape Town Hotel School.

Vice-Chancellor, Prof Chris Nhlapo, recently hosted Dr Moncef Meddeb and Vincent Perrier, a delegation from the Embassy of France in South Africa at the Cape Town Hotel School.

Nhlapo said the purpose of the visit was to strengthen CPUT’s current collaboration partnerships with the French “taking the lessons learnt from the successful F’SATI (French South African Institute of Technology) and expanding to the North and West of France”.  The Vice-Chancellor said: “We want to strengthen staff and student exchanges… How CPUT is going to participate in the one week in-person event in France dedicated to the promotion of the South-African higher education and research landscapes.”

The Embassy of France in South Africa is organising the efforts with all French and South African stakeholders, to arrange a one week in-person event in France devoted to the advancement of the South-African higher education and research landscapes between all involved Higher Education Institutions in France.  “The participation of the South African universities is key for a successful week and to achieve the objective of expanding the bilateral scientific and academic cooperation. All South African universities are invited to express their interests and participate in this week-long event in France, to be held between 27 June 2022 and 2 July 2022,” the French Embassy statement read.

The event will include presentations and discussions that will showcase the South African academic landscape and current partnerships, and “will discuss the existing instruments and some relevant ideas and avenues for future partnerships. All French Higher Education Institutions are invited to attend and contribute to the discussions, as well”.

During the event at the Hotel School, Prof Veruscha Fester – Assistant Dean: Research, Technology Innovation and Partnerships, Dr Bongani Ncube and Prof Oscar Philander made presentations and gave an overview of the Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment. Meanwhile, Prof Joseph Kioko, Dean of the Faculty of Applied Sciences with Prof Jessy Van Wyk, Dr Sune Henning, and Prof Maretha Opperman provided presentations and an overview of the Faculty of Applied Sciences.

Reflecting on the outcomes of the event, Nhlapo said: “It was an excellent meeting with great ideas and possibilities being that of including Applied Sciences (Agrifood Technology Station, Chocolate making etc) and Water Research, especially the newly acquired Research Chair by Dr Ncube from Engineering,” he continued.

“As we normally say, ‘collaborate or collapse, we believe in collapsing the boundaries to collaboration’. It means increasing our footprint in France and consolidating on the successful partnership we already have with the French. It also means strengthening and monitoring our current programme with the French.”

Nhlapo also revealed some of the agreements he had with the delegation following a closed meeting, “We agreed on a number of initiatives to strengthen and sustain our relations. We agreed on staff and student exchanges. We also agreed with them assisting us in our recruitment drive for a Research Chair in Nano-Satellite”.

Nhlapo also revealed that the University aims to expand the hotel school, “They [French] are also known for the art of French Gastronomy”. “Ferrandi at the heart of Paris is known world-wide in culinary arts and hospitality management. It is therefore our intention to strengthen this area for our Hotel School.”

Written by Aphiwe Boyce