University of Pretoria: University of Pretoria formalises collaboration with Carleton University in Canada

The University of Pretoria (UP) Vice-Chancellor and Principal Prof Tawana Kupe and Carleton University President and Vice-Chancellor Dr Benoit-Antoine Bacon formalised an institutional agreement to facilitate transdisciplinary research collaboration and student and faculty exchange. The agreement was signed in the presence of South African High Commissioner to Canada HE Rieaz Shaik.

The institutional agreement also intends to anchor the proposed South Africa-Canada University Network, which is anticipated to leverage on existing complementary strengths across universities in both countries to address societal challenges.

The agreement, which was signed at Carleton University campus in Ottawa, forms part of UP’s internationalisation and global engagement initiative – the African Global University Project (AGUP), which intends to develop much deeper and meaningful collaboration with selected institutions across the world to address local and global challenges, particularly as they relate to the African context.

In his remarks, Prof Kupe noted that “this agreement was important in the sense that the world is facing complex problems at both the local and global levels which require academic institutions to generate actionable knowledge and build collaboration to address these societal challenges. The memorandum of understanding between the University of Pretoria and Carleton University allows the partnership to address some of these challenges using transdisciplinary approaches leveraging on our existing knowledge networks”.

Dr Bacon recognised the ongoing collaboration between UP and Carleton University researchers including project agreements in Humanities and Health, as well as 21 academic co-publications between 2016 and 2022. The Carleton University president noted that “given the strategic relevance of engagements with South Africa combined with these past and ongoing collaborations, the MOU provides a solid foundation to scale up collaboration at the institutional level”.

Given that the MoU was signed on National Women’s Day in South Africa, HE Shaik highlighted the need for the partnership to continually support the needs of marginalised groups in society, particularly, women in science. He also noted that the South African government “is encouraged by the spirit of collaboration shown by the universities in Canada and hoped that this institutional collaboration between UP and Carleton would lead to the exchange of knowledge and research experiences that would make a meaningful contribution to the world and the global challenges of our time including inequality and high unemployment”.

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