MUT embraces DHET’s drive to recruit individuals for overseas studies

Mbali Mkhize, left and Dr Temwa Moyo

The Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) has embarked on a drive to get more South Africans to apply for international scholarships. While addressing Mangosuthu University of Technology (MUT) staff on the scholarships that are available, Dr Temwa Moyo, Acting Director of DHET’s International Scholarships division, said they wanted to boost numbers of South Africans who study overseas.

Dr Moyo said that it was important for South Africans to learn more about others, to become part of the global citizenry. He said one of the ways to achieve this goal was by encouraging South Africans to study abroad. He said that was one of the reasons the government stipulates that after completing their studies overseas, graduates must return and use the knowledge they acquired abroad to benefit the larger community.

Other reasons for studying with overseas institutions include the fact that students have access to full funding support for international travel, stipends, and tuition; and that they become internationally competitive and recognised, which will enable them to access international research funds and infrastructure, among others. Dr Moyo said there are scholarships for most areas of study, and advised staff to learn more via the

Mbali Mkhize, Senior Director of Marketing and Communications at MUT, said the opportunities were for staff, students, academics, and researchers.

“Fortunately, there are a few individuals working on wide-ranging projects who require collaborations with partners in Europe and this is where DHET comes in as it has the capacity to connect us with those institutions. It is not easy to get a partner directly from Europe because of language barriers and costs for travel. Therefore, getting DHET as an intermediary will go a long way in supporting our internationalisation agenda,” said Mkhize, who also heads the University’s internationalisation agenda.

Mkhize said their internationalisation agenda is drawn from DHET’s Policy Framework for Internationalisation of Higher Education in South Africa, which is determined in terms of Section 3 of the Higher Education Act, Act 101 of 1997. The MUT Internationalisation agenda is in line with the mandate of the department.

DHET’s visit gave “us an assurance that they have us covered with wide-ranging resources which we will be taking up”, explained Mkhize.

Mkhize said for MUT to fast track its internationalisation agenda, “We need to have all the departments that report on Goal 4 to have weekly Meet-Ups/Turn-Ups, which may last for an hour”. She said such meetings would give staff a chance to “get a sense of who is doing what, where and see which support could be given to those individuals”. Mkhize said they would launch these Meet-Ups/Turn-Ups in due course but consultations with the responsible individuals were under way.

Mkhize also added that a spin-off for the DHET’s visit was also the fact that the University’s Schools Liaison team could also play a role in identifying top performing learners through Life Orientation teachers and get their names submitted for selection for either Hungarian or Russian full-time undergraduate studies. Mkhize said that was in line with MUT’s Anchor Strategy of revitalising the lives of the people of Umlazi Township.

“We want to see even the township getting internationalised,” Mkhize said.