VUT and Two Roads Group join forces to advance education and professional development
12 December 2023
On 11 December 2023 the Vaal University of Technology (VUT) and Two Roads Group (2Roads) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which solidified a strategic partnership between the two entities, placing much emphasis on bursary provision to non-destructive testing students.
The MOU was signed by Prof Christa Grobler, the Executive Dean of the Faculty of Applied and Computer Sciences and Ms Thandy Mokgobu, Managing Executive Director of INDT – a member company of the 2Roads Group, at the Sisonke Restaurant at the Vanderbijlpark campus of VUT.
The MOU, drafted on May 30, 2023, outlines the collaborative efforts between the private company and the public higher education institution. The key focus areas included student funding initiatives (bursaries) and work-integrated learning and placement programs for graduates and former alumni of VUT.
Ms Mokgobu expressed her enthusiasm about the collaboration, stating, “This partnership exemplified our commitment to nurturing talent and contributing to the development of skilled professionals in the NDT profession. By combining our strengths with Vaal University of Technology, we aimed to create impactful opportunities for students and alumni.” She further added that they believed in the transformative power of education. “This MOU signified a commitment to not only providing financial support but also creating opportunities for real-world experience that would prepare students for successful careers.”
In her remarks, Prof Grobler said the signing simply cements and formalizes the already existing relationship between VUT and INDT. She said one of the challenges that universities are facing is staying relevant – something she adds that cannot be achieved without industry partnerships. “At VUT we strive to ensure that we produce graduates aligned with industry requirements, hence we are excited about this partnership.” Prof Grobler assured INDT and 2Roads that the university has the necessary infrastructure to support industry whenever and wherever needed. While grateful for the bursaries provided that the entity, she expressed that her wish is for the MOU to stretch beyond this, calling for the INDT and 2Roads to avail themselves to serve on Faculty Advisory Boards when called upon to do so by the university.
Dr Qhubekani Sikakana, Head Of Department: Department Of Mathematics, Non-Destructive Testing And Physics at VUT who was instrumental in seeing this partnership through, shared his perspective on the collaboration, stating, “Education is a powerful catalyst for societal progress, and through partnerships like these, we could unlock new avenues for student success. We looked forward to a fruitful collaboration with Integrity NDT Projects and believed that this initiative would benefit both our students and the broader community.”
In his address titled “Realising the Potential”, Dr Sikakana said for VUT to realise its full potential, it needs the help of partners such as 2Roads. He said, one of the things he’d like to see come out of this MOU is to bridge the gap between practical industry experience and the day-to-day academic theoretical knowledge that students get exposed to in the classroom, through site visits. He further invited 2Roads to tap into what he termed “ample research and innovation expertise at VUT to support the Group in developing sustainable solutions.
The MOU has been described as aligned with the institution’s ongoing efforts to explore collaboration opportunities with and cement its partnerships with industry.
The signing ceremony was attended by key representatives from both organizations, marking the beginning of a dynamic collaboration that sought to make a positive impact on education and professional development in South Africa.