The School for the Built Environment in the Faculty of Engineering, Built Environment and Information Technology (EBIT) at the University of Pretoria (UP) recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Council for the Built Environment (CBE).
The purpose of this MoU is to provide a framework to enhance the built environment in South Africa through a strategic partnership with UP. Through this collaboration, the following goals will be pursued:
- EBIT will be the link to the SA Universities Deans Forum, which is a network for all tertiary institutions’ faculties for engineering and the built environment.
- EBIT and other relevant UP faculties will support the CBE in driving the transformation agenda through the CBE National Transformation Indaba event hosted annually by the CBE.
- EBIT and the CBE will share resources to successfully deliver the CBE National Transformation Indaba and develop skills and graduates needed for the built environment.
- The CBE will assist in soliciting funding to support female and black students to pursue undergraduate and postgraduate studies at UP in the construction, town and regional planning, quantity surveying and other related built environment degree programmes offered.
- UP will assist the CBE in specific research projects and training of industry personnel as identified and required by the CBE.
In his concluding remarks, Professor Tawana Kupe, the Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the UP, said: "This official partnership will enhance recruitment of high school pupils into careers in the built environment. The collaboration will also facilitate providing career guidance at schools and hence convey the message of the importance of mathematics and science for the 4IR."
The current Engineering 4.0 research testing facility that is nearing completion on the Hillcrest Campus of UP is evidence that EBIT is at the forefront of what has become the new buzzword: 4IR.
EBIT has close links with industry and sees this partnership as the beginning of a long and fruitful journey in building a better South Africa.
Priscilla Mdlalose, Chief Executive Officer of the CBE, compared the partnership to a "marriage", saying: "This collaboration of expertise and resources, together with a common vision, elevates it from a “marriage of convenience” to a “marriage of sustainability”.