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Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Syrian Minister of Education visits CPUT

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CPUT could strengthen ties with the Middle East after hosting the Syrian Minister of Higher Education, Dr Ghiath Barakat.

Currently CPUT has a Memorandum of Understanding with two Saudi Arabian higher education institutions. This includes the Prince Sultan College of Tourism and Business and the Saudi International Academy for Tourism and Hospitality.

During their stay in South Africa, the Syrian delegation met with members of several higher education institutions and various education bodies.

Their visit to CPUT on 12 November 2009 came just a day after the Minister of Higher Education and Training Dr Blade Nzimande signed an agreement of cooperation with the Syrian Minister of Higher Education.

The agreement proposes cooperation in institutional collaboration and research, and aims to strengthen relations between the two countries.

The agreement will also facilitate the establishment of an African Studies Programme and the Middle Eastern Studies Programme at the universities of Damascus and Cape Town.

The Syrian delegation, which consisted of several high ranking education officials and the Syrian Ambassador to South Africa, met with Vice-Chancellor, Prof Vuyisa Mazwi-Tanga and members of top management at the Bellville campus.

Prof Mazwi-Tanga as well as several CPUT directors gave an overview of activities at CPUT. Areas covered included teaching and learning, research and community engagement.

During the visit, which also included a brief tour of facilities at CPUT, Dr Barakat expressed interest in developing ties with the institution.

Dr Barakat said they are open for discussions on collaboration in various areas. He said they would like to look at collaboration in the area of lecturer exchange programmes and research.

Syria has five universities, of which the largest boast a student enrollment of 100 000. It also has 15 private higher education institutions.

Dr Chris Nhlapo, DVC Research, Technology Innovation and Partnerships at CPUT said the institution was honoured to host the Syrian delegation.

“Research and innovation is about partnerships. To build capacity as a county, it is important to partner with other countries and higher education institutions.”

By Candes Keating

Photograph: The Syrian Minister of Higher Education, Dr Ghiath Barakat and CPUT Vice-Chancellor Prof Vuyisa Mazwi-Tanga, with the Syrian delegation.

Written by CPUT News

Email: news@cput.ac.za