VUT AND ARUP LAUNCH A STUDENT MENTORSHIP PROGRAMME
By Nontobeko Moimane 17 May 2022
The VC: Professor Dan Kgwadi with VUT students
On Wednesday, 11 May 2022 the Vaal University of Technology (VUT) and ARUP launched a partnership programme in Rosebank, Johannesburg.
ARUP is a British multinational agency founded in London. It offers design, engineering, architecture, making plans and advisory offerings throughout each aspect of the built environment. The agency employs about 16000 personnel in over ninety workplaces throughout 35 international locations across the globe.
This partnership is in line with the VUT’s mission statement: “to produce employable and entrepreneurial graduates who can make an impact is society”
Both partners are confident that participating students will be exposed to multiple opportunities throughout their studies and future careers.
Mr Damane Hlalele, Planning and Advisory Director at Arup South Africa, gave a keynote address and said, “ARUP desires to distinguish itself within the groups they assist, and their tasks are targeted around education”. He explained that ARUP offers students tools to further their studies and is exploring more opportunities and initiatives to work with VUT.
The partnership came about through the efforts of the VUT Resource Mobilisation department through y the Gift of the Givers, a current and loyal VUT partner.
VUT Director of Resource Mobilisation, Dr Narissa Ramdhani, said that the previous Lord Mayor of London and Global Non-Executive Director of ARUP, Sir Michael Bear, supports the work of her department.
“With those inroads, the primary section of the partnership has already started with 20 specifically identified VUT students from the Engineering Faculty taking part in the worldwide mentorship programme. These 20 students are privileged to receive training by mentors from countries such as Denmark, Mauritius, the United Kingdom, USA, Australia, and South Africa –to name a few”, she said.
VUT Vice-Chancellor, Professor Dan Kgwadi expressed appreciation and gratitude to ARUP and noted that the VUT Management has adopted a ‘students first approach’. He said partnerships with industry mean a lot to students. Such partnerships are what the university desires.
Acting Executive Dean for the Faculty of Engineering and Technology, Professor Peter Osifo, applauded the gesture by ARUP and mentioned that there’s more coming to support VUT students. He added that the tools provided would resource students and overcome their academic challenges and enable them to compete with their peers in other institutions.
The mentors and mentees shared views and appreciation for operating collectively to gain better results for their academics. Ms Suvarna Maharaj, one of the mentors and a Structural Engineer at ARUP Durban, said the partners need to take this global mentorship to a higher level than what they initially planned, which can lead to the development and generation of the technological know-how enterprise.
“Students need support such as learning tools to reach their goals and aspire to do more in their careers”, she said.
Representing the mentees, Mr Patrick Kabemba said he is excited to be part of this mentorship programme. Students will gain the necessary skills to excel in their careers. “Laptops are essential in our fields of study, and they will come in very handy as we deal with software packages”, he added.
VUT and ARUP delegation
This partnership will provide Students from the Engineering department with a couple of possibilities for their research and destiny careers. VUT is thrilled that even though ARUP had a choice to associate with many South African universities, they chose VUT. Such collaborations are genuine drivers of an innovative economic system while creating knowledge foundations for the next generation of solutions and providing a waft of interesting and newly minted talent.