Thursday, 17 March 2022

CPUT hosts first AIEA Hybrid sponsored forum in Africa

INTERNATIONALISATION STRATEGIES: Delegates from numerous South African universities attended the Association International Education Administrators Hybrid Forum at Cape Town Hotel School. INTERNATIONALISATION STRATEGIES: Delegates from numerous South African universities attended the Association International Education Administrators Hybrid Forum at Cape Town Hotel School.

The Office of Strategic Initiatives and Partnerships recently hosted the first Association of International Education Administrators (AIEA) Hybrid sponsored forum on the continent at the Cape Town Hotel School.

This thematic forum titled  Equity-sensitive Strategies of Higher Education in South Africa Internationalisation @home in Post-Pandemic Times, was conceptualised and hosted by the Office of Strategic Initiatives and Partnerships in collaboration with their counterparts from  University of the Western Cape (UWC). The forum addressed Higher Education internationalisation strategies and focused on one of the phases of “internationalisation@home” that includes collaborative online international learning (COIL).

“The case study presented by the host has the objective to advance institutional practices at universities in the Western Cape and technical universities throughout South Africa.”

The forum also served to launch, pilot and thus validate the research agenda of the new research project to be established at CPUT, embedded within the Office of Strategic Initiatives and Partnerships.

In his opening remarks, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research Technology Innovation and Partnerships, Dr David Phaho, said: “I have the distinct privilege to welcome all of you on behalf of CPUT Executive Management to the AIEA Forum hosted proudly at our beautiful Granger Bay Campus and seat of our world class Hotel School.”

Phaho said the Forum’s theme could not be timelier. “It is held at a time when academic institutions both at home and abroad are looking at developing and implementing mutually value adding internationalisation strategies,” he continued.

“Amidst these deliberations, Covid-19 like a thief in the night came and upended our lives like nothing the world, at least in my lifetime has seen: every hamlet, village, town or city is and continues to  be directly and indirectly affected by the most devastating and consequential black swan event in a generation.”

Phaho said the unprecedented challenges brought by Covid-19 “is already forcing us to rethink and re-engineer our ways of working, teaching, research as well as engagement be it in the classroom, places of work and/or leisure”. “The biggest casualty is obviously our collective internationalisation agenda where the global travel bans severely constricted student and staff mobility over the past two years or so,” he continued.

“In spite of these challenges and the unimaginable hardship and sorrow resulting from the pandemic, we are turning a corner and adapting to a new normal. We are now in a post-pandemic mode as reflected in the theme of today’s Forum.”

Director: Strategic Initiatives and Partnerships who is also the Transnational collaborations and centring the periphery chair,  Prof Judy Peter said: “We are grateful to have the opportunity to meet in person and virtually as we navigate a fluid and changing world order. We look forward to a productive day of deep engagement to contribute to the growing body of the complex discourses of the internationalisation of global education and the revaluation of internationalisation as practised at our various institutions.”

The programme included a virtual keynote address by Prof Emmet Woldegiorgis from University of Johannesburg,  a session on Sustainable Development goals- Gender, education and collaborations in Africa, which was chaired by Tracy Beckett from UWC, and the keynote address by CPUT’s Dr Michael Twum-Darko. Another session on Third stream income, global learning, and digitisation was chaired by Nichola Latchiah from the University of Cape Town, and the keynote address by Dr Upasana Singh an Academic Leader: Discipline of Information Systems and Technology from the University of Kwazulu-Natal.

Another case studies session: Internationalisation policy and strategy development was chaired by Dr Tasmeera Singh, Manger: International Relations at CPUT. Chief Directorate: Higher Education Policy Development and Research at the Department of Higher Education and Training, Mahlubi Mabizela also addressed the forum.

Written by Aphiwe Boyce