The collaboration between the Durban University of Technology (DUT), Huawei and the Tianjin Vocational Institute has resulted in the official signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Tianjin Vocational Institute (TVI), China and DUT, on the co-establishment of the first Lu Ban Workshop in South Africa, at the Durban University of Technology, on 05 August 2019.
This MOU came into being after the DUT delegation consisting of staff from Mechanical Engineering, IT and the Entrepreneurial Centre, had attended the prestigious Luban Workshop Seminar at the Tianjin Vocational Institute in China in May 2019.
The purpose of the workshop was to share the latest vocational education developments, provide training and promote mutual understanding and exchange by introducing the latest vocational education knowledge and technical training experiences to the local and international delegates in attendance.
A Luban Workshop will be jointly established in both campuses at DUT and the Tianjin Vocational Institute with equal technical equipment designed for the teaching and training purpose in areas of common selected specialties.
Also, both TVI and DUT have agreed to add Internet of Things (IOT) as a new specialisation/qualification in Information Technology.
TVI and DUT will co-develop relevant teaching resources for the Lu Ban Workshop, taking the local and regional relevance into account, and TVI will also provide training sessions for selected DUT faculty staff in Tianjin.
The activation of the Lu Ban Workshop is proposed for the end of November 2019.
In attendance at the signing were the Vice-Chancellor and Principal Professor Thandwa Mthembu, Professor Shen Jiang (Secretary of CPC), Ms Yang Rongmin (Vice-President, TVI), Professor Sibusiso Moyo in absentia, Dr Lin WU in absentia, Professor O Olugbara, Professor P Musonge, Dr Surendra Thakur, Dr Mtshali, Dr Festus Mwangi, Ms Nonhlanhla Khanyile, Mr Ebrahim Asmal, and the Chinese delegation respectively.
Jiang expressed her elation at the wonderful interactions her team and her had received from the dedicated DUT staff of the various faculties, and also looked forward to the future collaborations between Tianjin Vocational Institute and DUT.
Prof Mthembu also welcomed the partnership and hopes to expand it beyond the workshop, going forward. “I’m confident it will be one of the successful partnerships at DUT,” he said.
DUT’s Dr Surendra Thakur also said there is a dire need for technological giants to pull DUT through the 4IR technology obstacles.
“China is an exemplar partner to pull us. What China will do for DUT, DUT will do for South Africa. What DUT will do for South Africa, South Africa will do for Africa and so we shall pass knowledge upward and forward. As you (China) mentor us (DUT), we shall learn. But we promise that we shall also contribute to the knowledge creation through applied research,” he said.
Thanking both the Chinese and DUT delegations for their dedication and hard work was IT’s Asmal, who added that the signing of the MOU is the beginning of a long and prosperous partnership between DUT and TVI educating DUT students, especially for the 4IR.
Pictured: Professor Shen Jiang (Secretary of CPC) and DUT’s Vice-Chancellor and Principal Professor Thandwa Mthembu, at the signing of the MOU.