Forging international partnerships and exploring further possibilities of cooperation between the University of Valladolid in Spain and the Durban University of Technology is the reason for Mr Miguel Angel Nuevo Perez’s visit to Durban.
The Spaniard who is from the International Office at the University of Valladolid in Spain paid DUT a two weeks visit, as part of the Inspire Mobility project.
The International Science Promoting Innovation and Entrepreneurship (INSPIRE) project is an Erasmus Mundus Action 2 project that has identified a very concrete and structurally important node for development of the South African knowledge triangle. The process of transferring science needs to be explored and commercialised and to develop good governance at universities in order to initiate and uphold partnerships between the public and private sectors. The INSPIRE-project hopes to tackle this issue by training South African students and staff within the EU-universities’ innovation/entrepreneurship centres.
“We have been working on three different projects now at DUT and Erasmus+ for mobility changes. Our aim is to continue the partnership with DUT and South Africa, so my main plan at DUT is to find out what DUT’s goals are, interact with different people from various faculties and departments, and try to find other innovative ways of working together. We are looking at the programmes we manage and the strengths we can enhance with DUT in other faculties, going forward,” he said.
In addition, Perez said he has been showcasing the university through presentation at different faculties in the hope of seeing what can occur from what they offer in Valladolid and what is on offer at DUT.
Perez already envisions a potential partnership with DUT’s Institute for Water and Wastewater Technology (IWWT) with the Water and Wastewater Technology Department at the University of Valladolid in Spain. “One of the PHD students at DUT met with one of our researchers at an overseas conference, so the passion and drive to learn and work together as a unit is there. From February to July 2017, there were six students from DUT at our university and a month ago we had the pleasure of also hosting Bibi Ayesha Mall, Programme Co-ordinator and lecturer for the Journalism programme in the Department of Media, Language and Communication at DUT,” he explained.
Perez stressed that he would like to have more collaborations in the Biomedical Science faculty but at the moment the difficulty the language is a barrier. “My university is also focusing more on Spanish so we have to surpass this language barrier in order to have more students studying in more faculties at our university. The aim is to have more programmes in English, just to have options so that we can attract more students from South Africa and other parts of the world. Our aim is internationalisation and we encourage our colleagues to have at least one international programme in their faculty in English and that is bearing fruit,” he added.
Perez, will leave this evening, added that the outcome of INSPIRE will leave South African Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) with academic researchers and students that have studied in highly advanced universities in Europe with an EU-South African network of universities that will continue to develop new modes of collaboration within the field of innovation and entrepreneurship.
Pictured: Miguel Angel Nuevo Perez is from the International Office at the University of Valladolid in Spain.