Undergraduate engineering training through institutional collaboration in the Southern African region.

Ilemobade, A.A.
Ballim, Y.
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Higher Education South Africa (HESA).
The University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) and The University of Namibia (UNAM) signed an Agreement of Co-operation (AOC) in 2000. This agreement, which formalised an existing informal collaboration, was primarily targeted at facilitating the transfer of potential Unam undergraduate engineering students to pursue engineering studies at the WITS Faculty of Engineering as well as improving staff collaboration in research and teaching. Students from UNAM's pre-engineering programme and science departments have been beneficiaries of this agreement. Four years later, an evaluation of the collaboration reveals critical issues vis-à-vis decreasing student enrolments, unimpressive student graduation rates, and financial and operational complexities affecting student mobility - all of which have institutional as well as regional implications. This paper presents highlights and pertinent lessons of the collaboration, and recommendations for similar collaboration in the Southern African region both at an institutional and regional level. As a whole, the paper uses the Wits experience to extrapolate principles and strategic issues facing institutions involved in academic collaboration and cross-border movement of students within the Southern Africa region.
Academic collaboration, Student mobility, Undergraduate engineering, Southern Africa, Tertiary education, Engineering education
Ilemobade, A.A. and Ballim, Y. 2005. Undergraduate Engineering training though institutional collaboration in the Southern African region. South African Journal of Higher Education 19(4) 735-753. DOI: 10.4314/sajhe.v19i4.25663