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A SUCCESSFUL BRICS POSTGRADUATE FORUM TOOK PLACE IN BRAZIL

A SUCCESSFUL BRICS POSTGRADUATE FORUM TOOK PLACE IN BRAZIL

The BRICS Postgraduate Forum took take place in the city of Campinas (São Paulo State at the Campinas University in Brazil), from 26th to 27th September 2022. The forum had postgraduate students from (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) BRICS and other countries in-person and online who were invited to share their working research papers and receive guidance on how to improve their work feedback from the BRICS senior scholars who attended the forum.

BRICS Research Project was formed by a group of BRICS researchers headed by the Executive Dean of the Faculty of Management Sciences at DUT, Professor Fulufhelo Netswera supported by the project lead Dr Ndivhuho Tshikovhi who had applied for and attained funding in 2021 from the National Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences (NIHSS), and hosted and ran the BRICS Think Tank (SABTT). The grant was earmarked to research the effects of COVID-19 in the BRICS nations and specifically to probe about the linkages between entrepreneurship, agriculture and climate change during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The BRICS Postgraduate Forum was sponsored partly by the NIHSS and partly by the DUT and the Universidade Estadual de Campinas (Unicamp), and TV BRICS, was a media partner.

The first day of the forum started with high energy interactions with online and onsite BRICS delegates. Associate Prof at the Institute of Economics of the University of Campinas, Brazil Prof Bruno De Conti thanked all BRICS nations and BRICS representatives for joining online or onsite. Therafter, Prof André Biancarelli, Director of the Institute of Economics, University of Campinas, Brazil, welcomed and gave an opening presentation on the importance of BRICS research and the different dynamics of BRICS.

The second day started with a powerful address from Prof Fulufhelo Netswera, talking about the dynamics of BRICS nations. This address set a note for a productive day with interactive sessions. The first session was chaired by

Prof Ravinder Rena, Professor of Economics at the Faculty of Management Sciences at DUT, South Africa/India, on Finance and the New Development Bank (NDB) with 10 papers. The second session was chaired by Prof Bruno De Conti on governance in BRICS with nine papers, and the last session included all topics in BRICS chaired by DUTs Dr Ndivhuho Tshikovhi online with 14 papers. Also, an award ceremony was held for the best presentations for the Master’s and PhD categories which can be viewed on www.bricsforum.co.za).

BRICS delegates at the Forum.

One of the two Best Master Paper winners was DUT’s Oshea Roopnarian, and the sole PhD Best paper winner was DUT’s Zikhho Qwatekana. Some of the DUT runner-up winners for PhD include Fiona Langry, Robin Gengan, Paballo Ntobaki, and Aifani Tahulela (second runner up) on the master runner-ups from DUT, Zamaswazi Cele (second runner up) took the spot.

The day ended on a celebratory and significant moment with a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) being signed between DUT and the University of Campinas, establishing strong relations for the future between the two BRICS universities.

Giving his input on the successful forum was DUTs honorary Prof Rena.

He said: “The forum is an incredible collaboration for South African, Brazilian, and all the BRICS nations. There are probably more than 370 scholars across BRICS nations who participated. We need to make it alive every year. this is only the beginning, and probably in the near future, we will try to add so many other conferences.”

Prof Netswera shared his excitement, saying that the BRICS postgraduate forum went extremely well.

“It’s been two days of academic exchanges for interesting discussions on various topics, from waste management and entrepreneurship to finances and climate change. In 2023, we look forward to the BRICS Academic Forum in South Africa. And in parallel to that, we hope that we will also host the BRICS Postgraduate Forum. So, we expect that the BRICS scholars will be around April next year in South Africa,” he said.

After a successful visit to the Campinas University in Sao Paulo, the Brazil trip, Prof Fulufhelo Netswera also visited Rio De Janeiro, where a standing MOU between DUT and the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro or University of Brazil (UFRJ) has been active. The colleagues joined by an MOU and BRICS projects 1 and 2, is funded by the National Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences (NIHSS) housing the South African BRICS Think Tank. They held discussions with COPPE (Instituto Alberto Luiz Coimbra de Pós-Graduação e Pesquisa em Engenharia) about cooperation between BRICS Higher Educational Institutions.

Prof Lavinia Borges, Director of Academic Affairs, Prof Elton Fernandes, and Prof Andrea Santos from UFRJ and Prof Rena from DUT were present at the meeting. In addition, DUTs Dr Ndivhuho Tshikovhi joined online to talk about potential collaborations for the NIHSS funded BRICS Project 2 with Masters and PhD students of UFRJ. He explained the importance of Brazil-South Africa cooperation in the area of research, conferences, and publications. The DUT also extended the invitation to the UFRJ team to attend the upcoming conferences in 2023 that are planned for the BRICS project 2.

Pictured:  Prof Fulufhelo Netswera meets the Instituto de Pesquisa Econômica Aplicada (IPEA), Brazil team.

Dr Ndivhuho Tshikovhi

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