A high-level team led by the University of Johannesburg’s (UJ) Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research and Internationalisation, Professor Saurabh Sinha, consisting of the University’s Head of Internationalisation, Professor Ylva Rodny-Gumede, Executive Deans; Executive Directors and academics, recently undertook a focused set of strategic engagements in the Nordic area of Europe.
Says Prof. Sinha: “Research, Innovation, Education and Internationalisation are closely intertwined throughout the shared world-view. It is essential to foster further international alliances, renew and prioritise existing ones. This collaboration visit forms part of UJ’s strategy to establish the University as a key change agent on the African continent.”
During the visit to the Nordic area, the delegation opened doors with the University of Bergen; the University of Oslo; the University of Helsinki; Aalto University; Laurea University of Applied Sciences and the University of Copenhagen.
Making a call for closer ties between the universities, the 11 member UJ delegation’s discussions focused on academic cooperation and collaboration through scholarship of teaching and learning programmes; joint research and development projects; student and lecture exchange programmes; postgraduate supervision and examination ventures; study abroad programmes and international student recruitment. “Due to the historical and political ties South Africa shares with the Nordic countries, cooperation is of great significance to us” said Prof. Rodny-Gumede
In line with UJ’s quest for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), this expedition found many synergies to strengthen this approach and particularly for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), said Prof Sinha “We found an interest to understand the wider approach to the role of universities in some areas of the Nordic, in relation to 4IR”. Another area point of interest was the multi-disciplinary area of energy – in relation to policy and engineering.
Prof. Sinha concludes: “The establishment of specific partnerships with institutions in the Nordic is especially significant. These countries face similar challenges and joint academic enquiry would eventually benefit these countries and bring solutions to 21st century global challenges.”
UJ’s delegation embarked on the two-week visit to the Nordic on Tuesday, 27 August 2019.