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Thursday, 17 June 2010

CPUT strengthens ties with France

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A CPUT delegation recently visited the French Consulate, where they met with the Consul of France, Antoine Michon.

The visit that took place on 13 May at the consulate’s Cape Town offices was aimed at strengthening ties between the institution and France, said Dr Chris Nhlapo, Deputy Vice Chancellor Research, Technology Innovation and Partnerships.

Dr Nhlapo, who led the CPUT delegation, said the institution has several Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) with universities and organisations in France.

Most notably is the collaboration with AIRBUS S.A.S, the graduate school Ecole Supérieure d'Ingénieurs en Electrotechnique et Electronique(ESIEE) and the French South African Institute of Technology (F’SATI), a specialised centre at CPUT’s Bellville campus.

F’SATI collaborates with ESIEE on the delivery of postgraduate programmes in Engineering. On completion of their degrees, graduates receive qualifications from F’SATI and CPUT.

Merle Hodges, Director of International Affairs who was part of the delegation said many of the French collaborations are located in The Faculty of Engineering.

“We would like to broaden it to other faculties as with the recent MOU signed with Dunkerque Graduate School of International Business, France,” she said.

Hodges informed the Consul that CPUT would like to explore how other departments can link up with existing collaborations and also create more opportunities for staff to participate in exchange programmes at French research organisations.

Members of the delegation, Dean of Engineering Dr Nawaz Mahomed, Head of the Electrical Engineering Department, Ben Groenewald, Head of the Internal Auditing Department Spurge Rudman, F’SATI Director Prof Robert van Zyl and F’SATI Business Manger Ian van Zyl, also raised areas with the Consul where they felt existing collaborations could be strengthened or where new ones could be formed.

Prof van Zyl said while F’SATI has strong ties with universities in France, they would like to develop links with French based companies.

“I am looking for internship positions for my students. Government would like our students to have hands on experience of working in big satellite companies before entering the South African industry,” he said.

Van Zyl also requested the Consul to facilitate working relationships with Francophone countries, from where a large number of F’SATI and other international students come from.

Dr Mahomed suggested collaborations in the area of Nuclear Energy while Rudman suggested partnerships with French institutions that will benefit the CPUT Hotel School.

Consul Michon said he would explore as to how the Consulate could assist CPUT with creating links with more French companies and institutions.

Referring to the current partnerships, he said he was impressed with the work CPUT has already done in order to create a working relationship with French institutions, universities and companies.

By Candes Keating

Photograph: The CPUT delegation pictured with Consul of France(standing second from left), Antoine Michon at the French Consulate in Cape Town.

Written by CPUT News

Email: news@cput.ac.za