University of Pretoria

04/09/2024 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 04/09/2024 00:27

UP and China’s Zhejiang University forge academic and research collaboration in engineering

The University of Pretoria (UP) and Zhejiang University in China recently signed a memorandum of understanding, solidifying their commitment to collaborative efforts in engineering research and academic pursuits. The agreement aims to foster cooperation between UP's Faculty of Engineering, Built Environment and Information Technology; Department of Electrical, Electronic and Computer Engineering; and Zhejiang University's College of Electrical Engineering.

Despite their geographical disparity, the institutions' significant influence within their respective countries and continents positions them as close partners in advancing global engineering initiatives. Over the span of four years, this partnership aims to facilitate the exchange of expertise and the implementation of innovative engineering projects with far-reaching positive impacts on society.

"We are excited about the opportunity to collaborate with Zhejiang University," said Professor Sunil Maharaj, Vice-Principal of Research, Innovation and Postgraduate Education at UP. "This partnership holds immense significance for us here at UP because it is not just about sharing knowledge, but translating that knowledge into tangible solutions that make a difference.

"When two powerhouse institutions like ours join forces, the potential for impact is truly remarkable. We are talking about addressing some of the most pressing challenges facing our world today. Whether it's developing sustainable energy solutions or advancing technologies for a better tomorrow, this collaboration opens doors to endless possibilities."

Professor Deng Yan, head of the Research Group for Energy Network Transition (ReGENT) at Zhejiang University's College of Electrical Engineering, said this partnership is ultimately about leveraging collective expertise and resources to create meaningful change on a global scale.

"We couldn't be more excited about what lies ahead," Prof Yan said. "My university ranks top three in China, especially in engineering. It is quite important to establish a relationship with another top-ranking university like the University of Pretoria, especially given the multiparty cooperation between the BRICS countries, which include both China and South Africa, and we are all very good at engineering. Additionally, from an engineering perspective, Africa is a continent of opportunities waiting for development. It will be very good for us to do some work to help to develop the continent."

The collaboration between the involved parties encompasses a wide range of activities and initiatives aimed at nurturing and strengthening their relationship. These include exchanging faculty, researchers, and staff members; facilitating student exchanges and mobility programmes for both graduate and undergraduate students; supporting joint supervision of master's and PhD students; engaging in collaborative research endeavours and jointly applying for grants; establishing joint or dual academic degrees and specialised short-term academic programmes; collaborating on e-learning initiatives; participating in consultancy, training, teaching, curriculum development, and learning activities; organising joint international workshops, conferences, and seminars; and facilitating the exchange of academic and scientific materials, along with other pertinent information.