By Thomas Rasehloka 21 June 2022

Schneider Electric and VUT delegates

In order to align with its mandate and duties, the Vaal University of Technology (VUT) leadership and Schneider Electric (SE) recently took a joint strategic decision to migrate the French South African Schneider Electric Education Centre (F’SASEC) from the Technology Transfer and Innovation (TTI) department at the VUT’s Sebokeng campus, to the Faculty of Engineering and Technology.

According to Prof Peter Osifo (Acting Executive Dean – Faculty of Engineering and Technology), F’SASEC will merge with the faculty with all its roles and responsibilities.

F’SASEC’s strategic vision is aligned with that of the faculty. It is thus the faculty’s responsibility to ensure that student enrolment targets are met and that those students who have completed their training with F’SASEC articulate to the Engineering mainstream programme.

“Before implementing all the changes, we have to establish that all the legal documents with our partners (Schneider Electric) are in good standing”, said Prof Osifo. VUT plans to sustain F’SASEC and maintain its relationship with SE.

The most extraordinary thing about F’SASEC according to Prof Osifo is that “the training centre is one of its kind.  It caters mainly to previously disadvantaged students”.

In keeping with the ideals of the partnership, and through the help of SE, VUT has also established a train-the-trainer project which will be based at the VUT Sebokeng campus. This project will assist trainers (Teaching staff, TVET staff and Education staff that are doing engineering), from within VUT and all-over South Africa come and train with the F’SASEC.  This is a positive brand positioning move for F’SASEC and VUT.

SE is pleased with the support pledged by Prof Maggi Linington, Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Teaching, Learning and Student Support Services.

“We are delighted to work with the new management to share with them the journey of how we managed to get this far,” said Ms Zanelle Dalglish- SE Director of Sustainable Development & Academy.

Advancing the training centre technology is one of SE’s goals. “Technology is evolving, and it is time for VUT to adapt to the ever-changing technology. Several SE training partners look up to the F’SASEC training centre.  Therefore, advancing the centre’s technology is important to us”, explained Ms Dalglish.

She added that SE is passionate about education. “Our hearts go to the community around the Vaal and we would love to see the youth from this community impacted by F’SASEC. Our wish is for this centre of excellence to abide by gender diversity polices”.  In the coming years, a lot of effort will be put in place to ensure 50% of the student population are young ladies”.