The 2nd MUT Research, Innovation and Engagement (RIE) Week conceptualised by Prof Zodwa Dlamini, DVC: Research, Innovation and Engagements in 2016, has grown even bigger. This year, it drew the attention of the media which covered a pre-event launch, during-event activities, and post-event activities. Although RIE Week commenced from 10-14 July, coverage began as early as 6 July and the reputation of MUT shot up. All of this was a result of a sustained effort to craft a professional relationship with the fourth estate. Some of the headlines on broadcast, print, and online media, were: Mangosuthu University making strides in promoting research, 06 Jul 2017 – SABC News; Professor takes science to people to change their lives for the better, 16 Jul 2017 – Sunday Independent (Second Edition); and MUT focused on health, 20 Jul 2017 – The New Age. The coverage resulted in R2, 513, 616. 88 advertising value equivalence (AVEs) and they are still growing. The coverage was also partly as a result of the excellent contribution to the media briefing by Xolile Ngubane, Manager, TSC, and Prof Karabo Shale, Natural Sciences’ Research Professor and acting Research Director on 6 July at the SAMRC. The RIE Week 2017 was also well projected on all forms of social media, including a new Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/MUTResearch/
The major highlight of RIE Week was the signing of MOUs on 14 July 2017, with six institutions from Brazil, India, and the US. This was a very strong indication of MUT’s desire to have partnerships with international universities in a quest to be a pre-eminent University. Internationalisation is a big part of the MUT research agenda and is at the heart of Prof Dlamini. Now MUT staff and students can work on projects with their counterparts from all these institutions. The outcome of such collaborations will have a direct impact upon the University’s research standing, in line with this year’s RIE week theme: Engaging globally for local impact. The capstone event was the appreciation dinner where Prof Dlamini acknowledged the founder, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi and all stakeholders that have contributed to the growth of MUT in its 38 years of existence.