The University of Pretoria (UP) and Wageningen University & Research (WUR) in the Netherlands have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to collaborate in a number of areas over a five-year period. With this agreement both universities agreed to strengthen their mutual collaboration in exchanging students and staff, joint research programmes and other activities. The signing ceremony took place 11 December at the Netherlands Embassy in Pretoria.
For many years UP and Wageningen University & Research have collaborated in various projects, including LEAP-Agri, a joint long-term Europe Africa Research and Innovation initiative related to Food and Nutrition Security and Sustainable Agriculture. The two institutions form part of 30 European and African partners who joined forces, with financial support from the European Commission. The initiative is about bringing accurate and scientifically validated information to decision-makers in order for them to create propositions relevant to the still critical food security and nutrition situation faced by hundreds of millions of people in various African countries.
“With the challenges of the Sustainable Development Goals in mind, we must continue our efforts and build more partnerships,” said Prof. Louise Fresco, President of Wageningen University & Research.
According to UP Vice-Chancellor and Principal Prof. Cheryl de la Rey, “The University’s capacity to execute high-quality, collaborative, transdisciplinary research related to food security aligns well with WUR’s mission ‘To explore the potential of nature, to improve the quality of life’”.
Prof. Louise Fresco, President of Wageningen University & Research and Prof. Cheryl de la Rey, Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Pretoria.
Wageningen U&R is a top-ranked university and research centre focusing on fundamental and applied research in the life sciences, working on the domains of food and food production, living environment and health, lifestyle and livelihood. UP is one of South Africa’s top five research universities and co-hosts the South African Department of Science and Technology/National Research Foundation (DST/NRF) Centre of Excellence in Food Security and leads participation in three USAID Innovation Labs. In 2017, UP and its partners were awarded an African Research Universities Alliance (ARUA) Africa-based Centre of Excellence in Food Security.
Wageningen U&R and UP, through the ARUA Centre of Excellence and Future Africa initiative, will collaborate in the following areas:
- Exchange of academic staff and students
- Establishment of joint research programmes
- Supervision of collaborative Master's and Doctoral degrees
- Exchange of academic materials produced by either or both the institutions
- Organisation of conferences, seminars and symposia of mutual interest to the institutions and
- Collaborative activities linked to strategic networks and platforms on the continent.