Universities South Africa (USAf) News Update

Nanjing Tech University in China is inviting applications from South African students

One of China's top universities, namely Nanjing Tech University (Njtech), is inviting South African students seeking to pursue either undergraduate or postgraduate studies to consider enrolling at the institution. Nanjing Tech, aged over 100 years, boasts a globally esteemed track record in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematical (STEM) disciplines of Chemistry, Materials Science, Engineering, Biology and Biochemistry.

Professor Ahmed Bawa

At the Nanjing Tech Online Fair that was presented from the University of Johannesburg's Library in conjunction with the Confucius Institute last week, Professor Ahmed Bawa (left), Universities South Africa's Chief Executive Officer, was one of the guest speakers. Endorsing international study, in general, and specifically in China, Professor Bawa said collaboration across continents and nations is absolutely critical, given universal challenges of climate change, global peace and security, humanitarianism and, of late, the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic -- that the global community needs to resolve together.

Mutual benefit must be key to bilateral collaborations

"By facilitating the free flow of students, ideas and culture between our nations, universities provide bridges between our societies. We must just make sure that we focus on the mutual benefit of all societies involved." As he threw his weight behind the China-South Africa collaboration in higher education, Professor Bawa said "I hope that this initiative will lead to a free flow of our students to China, and Chinese students in our direction to ensure that our two societies find each other."

Professor Bawa said China's and South Africa's universities belong to a global common of scholars and scholarship. "We've seen how universities have contributed to the development of vaccines, as a symptom of contributing to a global common." He also alluded to the strong alliance between China and South Africa, dating back to the 15th century; and continuing through the struggle against apartheid to today, through the Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) network. "This is a very strong basis from which to strengthen these relationships." The USAf CEO said he wished to see the Sino-SA collaboration succeeding and growing beyond UJ, such that more of South Africa's institutions link with other universities in China "for a stronger pipeline and flow of ideas between our two continents and societies."

Diverse viewpoints are critical to effective human development

Welcoming the Njtech delegation to his virtual campus, Professor Tshilidzi Marwala (right), Vice-Chancellor and Principal of UJ, said UJ's Confucius Institute bore testimony to the many years of collaboration with Njtech. He added that through this relationship, UJ had learned how important it is to hone into the experiences and expertise of other nations and of other institutions.

"As we look towards creating the leaders of the future, who will not only navigate a post-pandemic setting but also an increasingly digital and connected world, we must open ourselves to diverse viewpoints," Professor Marwala said. "I have long advocated for people to go out into the world to learn about how other nations are educating their own people and absorb developments there."

Professor Tshilidzi Marwala
Professor Qiao Xu

According to the President (i.e. Vice-Chancellor) of Njtech, Professor Qiao Xu (left), his institution ranks in the top 5% of the 1265 universities in China. It is also ranked 34th to 50th in Times Higher Education World University Ranking – among universities in mainland China. Njtech counts in the top 3 to 4% of Chinese universities leading in Chemistry, Materials Science, Engineering, Biology and Biochemistry. It is also counted among the top 1000 universities of the world, according to the Times Higher Education World University Ranking and other higher education ranking bodies, including the Shanghai Academic Ranking of World Universities. Professor Xu mentioned that in the past two years, his institution had, in partnership with UJ, launched a short-term engineering programme for the benefit of UJ students in China.

Having built strong long-term friendships with UJ for faculty and student mobility, research collaborations and cultural exchanges, "we welcome more SA students to visit Nanjing, and look forward to sharing a better future with you," Professor Xu said.

Echoing the words of Professor Xu, the Education Counsellor at the Pretoria-based Chinese Embassy in South Africa, Mr Li Xudong (right), said Nanjing Tech is among the first group of universities approved by the Chinese Ministry of Education for the training of "Excellent Engineers". Already featuring over 600 international students from more than 10 countries, Mr Xudong lauded Njtech as a competitive study destination for South African students.

Also underlining the great importance that the Chinese government attaches to international students' education, Mr Xudong committed China to continue to provide a favourable learning environment for all, including South African students.

Mr Li Xudong
The Nanjing Tech University delegation
The delegation from Nanjing Tech University were virtually linked to South Africa via zoom.

Main programmes on offer at Njtech

Below we share some of the slides shown during the online event, by Professor Nai Kang, Director: International Office at Nanjing Tech. The slides summarise the duration of programmes; indicate which majors are recommended for international students at undergraduate and post-graduate levels; costs of tuition; general application guidelines for international students; the application dates and deadlines in 202, as well as some contact details.

Professor Nai Kang said for students looking to engage in research, Njtech offers the best opportunities.

Close to 200 students and staff from various universities attended the Online Fair. The audience linked in from UJ, the University of the Witwatersrand, the University of Cape Town and the University of South Africa. Some high school students were also in attendance. In addition to the speakers singled out earlier, attendees were also treated to a video presenting Nanjing Tech University facilities, natural surrounds and student life. There were also presentations by a) a representative of the College of Overseas Education; b) a representative of the College of Chemical Engineering and c) representatives of foreign students at Nanjing Tech.

Professor Rodny Gumede YIva, Senior Director at UJ's Internationalisation Office, and her counterpart from Nanjing Tech, Professor Nai Kang, directed the proceedings at this event.

The writer, 'Mateboho Green, is a Manager: Corporate Communication at Universities South Africa.

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