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Important developments in the education and training sector

Educational institutions are successfully collaborating with industry in the Eastern Cape.

The Eastern Cape Provincial Government has announced that a medical school has been allocated to the province.

Nelson Mandela University (NMU) will start offering classes in 2021. The Missionvale campus, near to the Dora Nginza Provincial Hospital, will be the site for the school. A school for vets is being considered for Fort Hare University.

A new medical school is to be established.

At the other end of the age scale, early childhood development (ECD) is to become part of the standard basic education system. It is believed that this will help to improve results of school pupils.

Image: Rhodes University

Among the important work being done at Rhodes University’s new Biotechnology Innovation Centre (pictured) is research on the basic and applied sides of stem cell biology. Helping pregnant women in rural areas is another focus: a cellphone app will send colour pictures of test strips to diagnostic centres, saving the patient a long and difficult journey to hospital.

The University of Fort Hare is leading three innovative studies into biogas including a project investigating compressed biogas for public transport. The South African National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI) is working with Fort Hare on a pilot scheme of biodigesters for households.

Walter Sisulu University (WSU) and the University of South Africa (UNISA) offer vocational training (diplomas) and academic programmes (degrees).

There are several examples in the Eastern Cape of collaboration between the manufacturing sector and educational institutions.

General Motors SA has assigned R3.6-million to a Chair in Mechatronics at NMU, which offers a Bachelor of Engineering in Mechatronics, covering electronics, mechanical engineering and computer-aided design. Volkswagen supports the International Chair in Automotive Engineering at NMU. Rhodes University’s Centre for Environmental Water Quality, within the Institute for Water Research, is sponsored by Unilever. The NMU Institute of Chemical Technology commercialises research through a body called InnoVenton and has several clients in the private sector.

Another NMU body, eNtsa, supports the manufacturing sector through research in areas such as automotive, power generation and petrochemicals. eNtsa is supported by the Technology Innovation Agency.

The Provincial Government of the Eastern Cape is supporting skills training in the maritime sector through the Maritime Youth Development Programme.

The Eastern Cape has eight Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) colleges, most of which have more than one campus: Buffalo City, Port Elizabeth, Lovedale, King Hintsa, Ingwe, King Sabata Dalinyebo, Ikhala and Eastcape Midlands College.

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