The University Partnership to Grow Administration and Education (UPGRADE) set out to enhance university partnerships between the US and South Africa and focuses on increasing Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) capacity as well as improving the knowledge and skills in university administration. Florida International University (FIU) leads the project, with the US Embassy in South Africa providing financial support. The South African partner institutions are University of Pretoria (UP), Tshwane University of Technology (TUT), University of Limpopo (UL) and University of Mpumalanga (UMP).
The main objectives of the project are to: Strengthen postgraduate STEM capacity of the partners in South Africa; Strengthen capacity in the administration of STEM programs; and to Build the sustainability of the partnership through an MOU, scholarships, private sector involvement and linking up with other funding opportunities.
The short-term student exchanges to FIU will allow students to work on their post-graduate research projects while drawing on FIU curricula to build specific skills, link up with experts at FIU to improve research outcomes, and get exposure to international best practice in postgraduate research. It presents an opportunity for the students to learn new skills and prioritise the publication of results in scientific journals with FIU faculty co-authorship. The students will be encouraged to participate in student activities while on the FIU campus.
Applications were open to South African citizens who are registered Masters and Doctoral candidates at the partner institutions. The internship will be for a period of 4-6 weeks in September/October 2022 at Florida International University in Miami, FL.
Candidates went through a rigorous selection process and the following students were selected for the internships:
· Ms KR Theron (UP)
· Ms KM Molabe (UL)
· Mr DT Chitima (TUT)
· Ms K Mabadahanye (UMP)
· Mr N Naraindath (UP)