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Further education and research network for VET professionals in South Africa to be further expanded

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(c) University of Rostock

As part of the German-South African Year of Science 2012/2013, the working area of technical training and education at the University of Rostock held a kick-off event to expand a further training and research network for VET professionals (VET: Vocational Education and Training) in South Africa, Western Cape region, from 8 to 12 October 2012.

The event will be held in this location because one of the project's goals is to also gain partners from the most southern regions of South Africa for the network. Further training for teachers working in vocational education and training will be offered in the future at various locations in the partner countries in the VET-Net which is also slated for expansion to Mozambique and Ethiopia. In addition, the event is intended to not only lay the foundation for joint R&D projects but also get started on them.

The event aimed to attract more cooperation partners working in university and non-university vocational training in South Africa for the further education and research network for VET professionals (VET-Net) in South Africa.
Participants included two representatives of the VET-Net project partner

  • the University of Rostock (Gesine Haseloff, Dr. Friedhelm Eicker),
  • University of Witwatersrand (Mary Madileng, Dr. Peliwe Lolwana),
  • Jimma University (Ewnetu Hailu Tamene, Dr. Esayas Alemayehu Tekeste) and
  • three representatives of the Universidade Pedagogica (Fernando Ali, Dr. Daniel Dinis da Costa, Prof. Dr. Armindo Monjane).

Also in attendance were representatives from

  • the FET colleges (West Coast College, Port Elizabeth FET College),
  • universities of the Western Cape Region (University West Coast), 
  • government agencies and companies (MTU, Siemens) as well as from
  • research and funding institutions (SETA, MerSETA) who were invited by the project organiser and the University of Witwatersrand (WITS).

During the kick-off week, a two-day workshop was held to discuss the project goals and different possibilities for its structure in Cape Town in the Best Western Cape Suites Hotel. In addition a tour of West Coast College to Malmesbury was organised and a discussion held on vocational education and training in the company MTU South Africa Ltd.

From the project organiser's perspective, the kick-off event to expand the VET-Net in South Africa was very successful. The University of Rostock was able to bring the ideas of the VET-Net to several new partners (colleges, universities and scientific institutions) in South Africa. The relationships with all of the partners who are members of the network were strengthened. The South African University (WITS), the University of Rostock, the Jimma University in Ethiopia and the Unversidade Pedagogica in Mozambique stated their willingness to continue working together. The common undertaking will now be turned into a concrete plan for the joint collaboration in the next step.