French visitors at VUT
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French visitors at VUT

Mr Hendrik Van der Merwe, Operations Manager: Technology Transfer and Innovations at the VUT Science Park; Professor Gordon Zide, Vice-Chancellor and Principal at VUT and Ms Zanelle Dalglish: Head of Sustainable Development from Schneider Electric

Nontobeko Zondi

Strengthening partnerships” was the talk of the day when the French government visited the Vaal University of Technology (VUT) on Wednesday, 14 November. The visit was intended to build on the long-term relationship that was established in 2011.

Through this partnership, the French South African Schneider Electric Education Centre (F’SASEC) was established at VUT to enhance the lives of underprivileged youth residing in and around the Vaal.

Professor Gordon Zide, the Vice-Chancellor and Principal of VUT gave a welcoming address and said that he feels honoured to be connected to people of such calibre with a commitment towards positive partnerships.  He likened their partnership to the roots of a tree as it has held firm and strong through trials and tribulations.

Mr Riaan Greeff, the F’SASEC Coordinator, gave a presentation on the centre, its achievements and future goals. He also wished to “spread roots” through F’SASEC to other universities in the world and learn what other countries do.

Ms Gaëlle Schmitt, the Programme Coordinator for the Centres of Excellence

In her acknowledgements, Ms Gaëlle Schmitt, the Programme Coordinator for the Centres of Excellence, expressed her gratitude at being able to give young people a way to success through this partnership and initiative.  She said it gives them a way into the job market.

F’SASEC VUT students: Mr Jonathan Machina and Ms Moipone Seheri

Two students, Ms Moipone Seheri and Mr Jonathan Machina gave testimonies about the training centre and how it has helped them to grow and be successful.

Ms Zanelle Dalglish: Head of Sustainable Development from Schneider Electric mentioned that this initiative is expanding as they recently signed an agreement in Mozambique, while VUT has increased its intake for the coming year from 24 to 48 students.

Members from VUT management, Schneider Electric, French Ministry of Education, the VUT Southern Gauteng Science and Technology Park and F’SASEC formed part of the delegation.

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