Professor Marcus Ramogale, Acting Vice-Chancellor & Principal
Message from Professor Marcus Ramogale, Acting Vice-Chancellor & Principal
The inaugural MUT International Week is a source of pride for us as a University as we wind up the 2021 year. Despite all the challenges that the country and MUT have faced since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, MUT has continued its business agenda and exceeded all expectations set out in its Strategy 2025. As the country and the world navigated various waves of the pandemic and associated lockdowns, our campaign of ‘saving lives and saving the academic year/s (2020/1)’ has moreover proven fruitful.
One of MUT’s most notable achievements in 2021 was receiving the Excelleration Award from the National Research Foundation (NRF) at the end of October. The Excelleration Award for South African Research Institutions acknowledges those institutions that have achieved the most improved research performance. Its name is derived from the words “excellence” and “acceleration”, and that is indeed the goal that MUT has set for itself – to excel in research and to accelerate its research agenda.
It is against this backdrop that we are delivering our very first International Week (I-Week), a seed we planted in 2019 when MUT turned 40 years old. Back then we stated that while MUT is rooted in Umlazi Township, it is destined for the world. We made it clear that we should have a strategic goal that targets international engagements, and that’s what we have done. As part of our strategy implementation, we have been enthusiastically engaging our international peers and friends of MUT to collaborate with MUT where possible.
I am pleased that our I-Week will feature those that have walked before us in this journey of internationalisation, as well as those that will partner with us in future. The presence of Professor Hal Walker, who played a critical role in the launch of the Apollo 11 space mission in 1969, along with our founder, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, give us hope that the vision of becoming an international university is indeed attainable. Our Chancellor’s participation also reminds us that she committed to walk this journey with us when she awarded MUT a Chair in Human Settlements a few years ago. The journey continues and will be a legacy that our esteemed partners leave for MUT.
I-Week will provide our current and prospective partners a glimpse of where we are in research and innovation, as well as the progress we are making in shaping MUT as an entrepreneurship destination for our students. My sincere gratitude goes to all the speakers who will be joining us digitally from all over the world to provide support and leadership as we navigate the world of international collaborations. Amongst other things, we can look forward to our international partners taking us through a series of presentations focusing on available international funding.
Thank you to all MUT colleagues, speakers, and attendees for helping us make history together.