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UFS seals cooperation with National Institute for Higher Education
2006-03-20

At the signing of the agreement were seated from the left Prof Magda Fourie (Vice-Rector:  Academic Planning at the UFS) and Dr Pearl Nkosi (Head: Academic Planning at the NIHE). Standing from the left were Dr Kopano Taole (acting head of the NIHE) and Mr Vernon Collett (Registrar: Academic Student Services at the UFS).
Photo: Stephen Collett

UFS seals cooperation with National Institute for Higher Education

A formal memorandum of understanding was recently signed between the  University of the Free State (UFS) and the National Institute for Higher Education in the Northern Cape (NIHE).

The memorandum was signed to give both institutions a clear understanding of the way in which collaborative programmes should be implemented.

“Although the UFS has been presenting two bachelors degree courses (i.e. B Soc Sc in Human and Societal Dynamics and B Com in General Management) and the Career Preparation Programme at the NIHE since 2003, the cooperative agreement was never formalised,” explained Prof Magda Fourie, Vice-Rector:  Academic Planning at the UFS, during the signing ceremony.

These academic programmes, presented by facilitators living in Kimberley and lecturers from the UFS, serve 270 students and the entry requirements of the programmes are determined by the UFS.

Prof Fourie said the UFS had a history of a relationship with the NIHE.  The partnership should be seen as an example of how two institutions of higher learning can work together to serve the needs of the students in the region.

“The memorandum of understanding is part of the UFS’s commitment to and engagement with the central region.  As the NIHE is currently operating in a policy vacuum, the memorandum is underpinned by certain principles aimed at providing some parameters within which the relationship is established and developed,” she said.

Dr Kopano Taole, acting head of the NIHE, added to this by saying that the understanding of where the NIHE wants to take the partnership is now reflected in the memorandum of understanding. 

“The memorandum is the culmination of many years of hard work and of helping the people of the region.  The continued input and guidance of the UFS is of tremendous help to us and through this we gained a greater sense of what the NIHE can grow to be,” he said.

The NIHE is a joint initiative of the BHP Billiton Development Trust (BBDT) and the Northern Cape Provincial Government and was established in June 2004.  The National Plan for Higher Eduation (NPHE 2001) proposed the establishment of the NIHE in the Northern Cape to serve as the administrative and governance hub for ensuring the coherent provision of higher education through programme collaboration between the higher education institutions operating in the Northern Cape.

Media release
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Media Representative
Tel:   (051) 401-2584
Cell:  083 645 2454
E-mail:  loaderl.stg@mail.uovs.ac.za
20 March 2006