On 10 January 2019, the Vaal University of Technology’s Vice- Chancellor and Principal, Professor Gordon Zide welcomed five (5) students on an exchange programme from the Somali National University (SNU). All the five exchange postgraduate students specialises in engineering disciplines. VUT and SNU have a strong partnership that was established in November 2014.
In his welcoming address, Professor Zide shared with students that VUT has a culture of stern learning and teaching, and different cultures that can be integrated to produce a constructive learning environment.
During his brief talk welcoming the students, he quoted the former Vice-Chancellor and Principal; Professor Irene Moutlana who used to say: “when Africa is happy, Africa sings and when Africa is sad, Africa sings”. This demonstrates the desire and wish to share and explore expertise and knowledge.
With the ongoing talks of the 4th Industrial Revolution, this shows that Africa is pregnant with information and knowledge to share with the rest of the continent and develop ways to implement such expertise.
Having these Postgraduate students shows the importance of the relationship established and the continuous strengthening of this relation.
The Vice-Chancellor committed that the registration process for these students will occur smoothly through the MOU that was signed with SNU. The students were given a chance to express themselves. They shared their excitement to be at VUT and how they wish to learn as many things as possible so that they progress and improve their country.
Professor Zide said that there is a need for a reciprocal visit from VUT to Somalia to strengthen the relations and have a robust exchange programme between the two sister universities.