It was more than fitting that the second MUT International Week was opened and closed by the Acting Vice-Chancellor and Principal of MUT, Professor Marcus Ramogale, as it represents his internationalisation vision for the institution. But it was not to be for the opening address.
Professor Ramogale’s opening address, which was delivered by Dr Manyane Makua, Acting DVC for Teaching and Learning on its first day (21 November 2022), emphasized the centrality of working together in search of higher knowledge by reminding the attendees of the place of universities in society. He said historically, universities were places that drew together people from different countries, to come and study together.
However, much has changed; the evolution of universities has not only been for the better. There are problems with that shift. One of these is working in silos. This was isolated and criticised severely by most presenters during the four-day discussions. Speakers called for collaborations at various levels, between universities.
Professor Ramogale reminded participants about the changes and possible changes in the higher education sector as a result of Covid-19.
“We start deliberations on our International Week being very cognisant of the impact of Covid-19 on creating new campuses which are more than a shadow of their former selves, with fewer staff members, fewer students, and fewer international students because many of the international students have opted for Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) and/or Internationalisation at Home (IAH). These are forms of internationalisation that would have been shocking during the medieval world. Trying times call for new inventions,” Professor Ramogale said.