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UJ and Canadian High Commission celebrate 30 years of democracy, forge partnership for youth

The University of Johannesburg (UJ) and the Canadian High Commission joined forces to celebrate 30 years of South African democracy with an event titled “Marking 30 years of democracy: Looking Back and Forging Ahead.”

Empowering youth through education and partnerships

Held on February 29th, 2024, at the Imbizo Hall, Soweto Campus, the event focused on empowering young people through education and strategic partnerships.

Prof. Letlhokwa Mpedi, Vice-Chancellor and Principal, UJ, delivered the welcome address and opening remarks which outlined the importance of education, the potential of youth and UJ/Canada partnerships.

HE Mr Chris Cooter, High Commissioner for Canada in South Africa provided greater insight regarding the Canadian strategy to work with the South African government, universities and other organisations to empower and create opportunities for South African youth. Further to the above, the High Commission intends to launch a broader partnership with UJ which focuses not only on students but also addresses the opportunities for joint projects, research and strategic partnerships with Canadian universities in specific knowledge areas.

Dr Idah Makukule, Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) Acting Director, University Research & Policy Development, highlighted the importance of partnerships and plans by DHET to create stronger partnerships links between Canada and South Africa focusing on research.

Masterclass and panel discussions equip students for the future

The event consisted of two sessions with the first titled an “Education Masterclass” that aimed to elaborate on opportunities for students post their studies within innovative education, early childhood development, leadership, research and technology.

The second session which focused on global skills allowed participants to listen to and engage with professionals in business, youth-focused organisations and government entities. The panellists provided fantastic insights into their specific industries which included existing challenges, technological innovation and the importance of upskilling.

Prof. Ylva Rodny-Gumede, Head of the Division for Internationalisation at UJ, concluded by emphasising the importance of strategic partnerships in equipping students with the critical skills they need to thrive in the job market.

“The university space exists not only to produce graduates but to provide students with critical skills that will allow them to adjust and thrive in the workspace. Strategic partnerships form an integral step in achieving this goal, we are confident that our burgeoning partnership with the Canadian High Commission and the many Canadian businesses who sponsored the event will benefit our students,” said Prof. Rodny-Gumede.

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