“In SA we need to start early, from Primary schools to nurture the girl-child in Mathematics and Science fields and increase awareness about the opportunities,” said Dr Lungi Kwitshana, the Head of the Department of Biomedical Technology. Dr Kwitshana was a panellist at a conference co-hosted by the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU’s) from 24-27 October 2017. Dr Kwitshana had two very strong messages. “If we continue to exclude women in STEM, we exclude 52% of the global brain power from participating and contributing towards intellectual and economic development, and that we need to move research from the laboratory (bench side) to bedside and ultimately to commercialisation.”
Dr Kwitshana added that the HBCUs were willing to have exchange programmes for staff and students, with opportunities for dual qualifications where staff and students could register for post-graduate studies at MUT and HBCU. “This will help accelerate MUT’s post-graduate programmes, staff credentialing and exposure of our staff and students to the international arena,” she said.