SA, Russia establish science and tech education centre
South Africa's Department of Higher Education and Training signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), on Monday, with Russia's Biotechnological University (BioTech University) to establish the Centre of Open Education.
Empire Partner Foundation, a non-profit tech organisation, is hosting the Centre of Open Education in Illovo, Sandton, in collaboration with BioTech University, to provide learning opportunities to locals.
The centre, which offers free training, was officially opened by Alexander Soldatov, rector of the Russian BioTech University, and Dr Nkosinathi Sishi, director general of the Department of Higher Education and Training.
The official launch and opening of the centre is the culmination of discussions that took place during the 17th session of the South Africa-Russia inter-Governmental Committee on Trade and Economic Cooperation, held in March in Pretoria, South Africa.
Lecturers from BioTech University will conduct face-to-face training for South African students across a range of courses, including informatics and computer science, applied informatics, technological machines and equipment, mechatronics and robotics, chemical technologies, and biotechnology.
In addition to the training, students will receive educational books and certificates upon successful completion of the course.
“We hope the signing of this MoU will open doors for more institution-to-institution cooperation. Our role as government is mainly to create a conducive environment for institutional cooperation to flourish and grow from strength to strength,” said Sishi.
He added: “We call upon non-governmental organisations, such as Empire Partner Foundation, and other progressive citizens of our two nations to join us in this journey.”
"Today paves the way for fruitful cooperation between us and gives South African students the opportunity to acquire new practical knowledge and skills, while also developing intercultural dialogue between our countries," Soldatov said. “We have a lot to learn from one another."