ALIGNMENT OF VUT STRATEGIES WITH OPPORTUNITIES OF DSI AND NRF
By: Nontobeko Moimane- 01 December 2023
A delegation comprising members from the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) and the National Research Foundation (NRF) recently paid a visit to the Vaal University of Technology (VUT) to engage strategically on matters pertaining to the South African Research Chairs Initiatives (SARChI) and Centres of Excellence (CoE).
The primary objective behind this visit was to align VUT’s strategies with the opportunities extended by the DSI and NRF, aiming to enrich the research landscape within the institution. This visit was a pivotal moment for VUT, providing a platform to gather valuable insights and information that could be leveraged to enhance the institution’s research outputs and overall impact.
During the engagement, the DSI representative delivered a comprehensive presentation covering the decadal plan, highlighting priorities, and offering insights into the status of implementation. The focus was on identifying areas of interest and potential opportunities specifically tailored for Historical Disadvantaged Institutions (HDIs) like VUT.
Concurrently, the NRF delegate provided an overview of NRF’s vision for 2030, strategic initiatives for 2025, and their significant investments, with a specific emphasis on SARChI and CoEs. This presentation aimed to illustrate how VUT could potentially align itself with these initiatives for mutual benefit and advancement.
VUT took the opportunity to present its institutional research strategy, showcasing its ongoing implementation in alignment with the decadal plan. The presentation zeroed in on several crucial aspects: firstly, highlighting areas where the institution is currently primed and excelling in research endeavors, termed as “areas of advanced readiness.” Secondly, it delved into the strategic vision, outlining areas earmarked for future growth and development, termed as “areas of envisaged future readiness.” Lastly, the presentation emphasised the institution’s commitment to human capacity development, clarifying its strategies and initiatives in this critical area.
Moreover, VUT’s presentation aimed to provide a forecast of potential opportunities expected to unfold over the next 5-10 years, emphasising the anticipated support from entities such as the DSI and the NRF. This forward-looking approach underscored the institution’s readiness to leverage forthcoming collaborations and resources to enhance its research landscape significantly.
Additionally, the presentation shed light on the ongoing human capacity development initiatives and support that VUT is presently benefiting from, courtesy of entities like the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET), DSI, NRF, and other relevant stakeholders. This acknowledgment demonstrated VUT’s active involvement in harnessing available resources and opportunities aimed at nurturing and empowering its academic talent pool.
In essence, VUT’s institutional presentation not only reflected its current research strategy but also projected a forward-thinking vision, showcasing its preparedness to harness forthcoming opportunities and collaborative endeavors with key stakeholders for the betterment of its research ecosystem.
Overall, the visit served as a catalyst for VUT to glean crucial information and strategic direction from these esteemed entities, fostering a pathway towards maximizing the benefits offered by the DSI and NRF. It marked a pivotal moment for VUT to shape its research endeavors in line with broader national and institutional objectives.