MUT to host International Week

Professor Hildreth ‘Hal’ Walker, Jr –
Image courtesy Hildreth (Hal) Walker, and https://www.blackpast.org/african-american-history/people-african-american-history/hildreth-hal-walker-jr-1933/

Mangosuthu University of Technology (MUT) will host its inaugural International Week (I-Week) from 22 to 26 November 2021 with renowned speakers leading the session. The theme of the I-Week is ‘fostering a strategic network of international partners’.

The keynote speakers include NASA scientist and renowned engineer, Hildreth ‘Hal’ Walker, Jr., who is famous for leading the team that measured the distance between the earth and the moon which made NASA’s 1969 Apollo 11 mission possible. Professor Walker will be joined by MUT’s Founder, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, and the Institution’s Chancellor, Lindiwe Sisulu (MP), Minister of Tourism in South Africa, among others.

Mbali Mkhize, Senior Director: Marketing and Communications at MUT, says the purpose of the International Week is to launch discussions on MUT’s vision of its internationalisation agenda. Mkhize said: “We are living in a world where we are all connected as part of this global village. It is important for the University to formalize how the University will engage with its partners outside of South Africa in its bid to contribute to knowledge production and its unique cultural experience.”

Mkhize said the I-Week was going to be a forum by which the University and the members of the international world would share ideas, ranging from an update on research at MUT, steps towards establishing strategic partnerships by members of the National Association of African Americans Studies (NAAAS), capacity building with Commonwealth of Learning as a strategic partner; and a town planning session for the youth in Umlazi Township (including MUT students) to re-imaging their Township.

Mkhize added that the I-Week was a step towards laying a foundation on the University’s agenda.

“This is how we are announcing ourselves as a partner that is ready to make an impact on an international stage. This is essentially what universities are about – creating ways and means to work together so that the general communities can benefit from their activities,” said Mkhize.

Mkhize also mentioned that activities of the I-Week would clearly indicate that the time for working in silos is over, and that everyone could be part of “this big grinding machine called global village”.

The connection with the international world is informed by the University’s strong assertion that as much as it is rooted in Umlazi Township, a place which its Founder described as his second home, it sees itself as destined for the world.

“The idea of having an International Week is supported by all sections of our Institution. This is a clear indication that our staff see the need to play an active role as part of the global community. Our Institution will benefit from connecting with scientists, researchers, academics, funders, and diplomats from various parts of the world,” said Mkhize.