Previously, Maasai Mara University and Vaal University of Technology (VUT) have had several engagements which has yielded several fruits including but not limited to;
- Our staff from the School of pure applied and Health Sciences, Dr. Nyaigoti Omwoyo was hosted and funded by VUT for a two year postdoctoral research fellowship and we’ve since been having joint publications and joint postgraduate student supervision.
- Another member of staff from the same school, Mr. John Mining is currently on a PhD scholarship co-supervised by researchers from the two institutions.
- Our pioneer Master of Science in Chemistry student, Mr. Evans Suter was funded to do his laboratory work at VUT two years ago and graduated from MMARAU and is currently on a scholarship pursuing his PhD studies at VUT.
- This year, 2022 another staff member from the School of Business and Economics, Dr. Wesonga Justus has been awarded a fully funded postdoctoral research fellowship by VUT.
- On the other part, has previously hosted Prof. Makwena Moloto from VUT for short visits on two occasions in 2017 and 2018. The Professor held several seminars with postgraduate students in Chemistry and taught some sessions.
- In September 2019 Maasai Mara University hosted twelve (12) postgraduate students from VUT who attended the 2019 MMARAU international conference presenting research articles.
In a new development, the Department of Science and Innovation, South Africa is now supporting partnerships between South African and Kenyan Institutions in line with their plan of action 2022-2025. This is what is necessitated the development of a legal working relationship between Maasai Mara University and Vaal University of Technology. This institutional agreement comes at the height of ongoing efforts to boost MMARAU’s co-operation and partnerships with its international peers something that is underpinned by one of its strategic objectives of strengthening international university alliances through engaged scholarships.
In his introductory remarks, Prof Kgwadi welcomed the delegation from MMARAU not only to VUT but to the South African shores, indicating that it is was an honour to host MMARAU delegation but more so, to be entering into an institutional agreement with them. On the MOU, he said it is common practice for African universities to prioritise partnerships with their overseas counterparts which he says there is nothing wrong with however, he added that there is an even greater need for universities within the continent to strengthen ties among themselves.
Prof Chacha, on the other hand, described the MOU as “a marriage between the two universities that will last forever” adding that, as a young university celebrating its 10th year in 2023, MMARAU looks forward to learning as much as possible from VUT, given its rich history spanning over 50 years. He also said one of the outcomes he hopes to see emerging from this MOU is the possibility of the two universities offering joint degree programmes. These sentiments were echoed by Dr Benson Momanyi, MMARAU Council member and Chairman of the Academic, Sealing and Honorary Degrees Committee of Council. Dr Momanyi emphasised that the timing of the MOU is befitting, as the university is on a mission to strengthen its ties with others, citing that as much as it is expected to be of mutual benefit, MMARAU stands to gain more given it is a young university.
Speaking on the background and the two institutions’ long overdue desire to formalise the relation, VUT’s Acting Deputy Vice Chancellor: Research, Innovation, Commercialisation and Internationalisation, Dr Simphiwe Nelana, said the two have been close-associate institutions over the years, with a long history of collaboration and by signing the MOU, the two are merely solidifying the relationship with an expanded scope.
Maasai Mara University (MMARAU) and Vaal University of Technology (VUT), South Africa strengthened their ties and formalised their longstanding relationship by signing a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the two universities. The signing ceremony took place at VUT’s Council Chambers by the two institutions’ Vice Chancellors Prof Joseph Chacha and his counterpart from VUT, Prof Dan Kgwadi. The MOU aims to confirm the collaboration between the two institutions, which will result in a number of interdisciplinary projects over the next five years. The partnership is particularly relevant to Maasai Mara University as the two institutions will be able to have student exchange for research and other academic programs, joint research activities, sharing of research and educational materials, publications and academic information amongst others to enhance the Vision of the University. Furthermore, the two institutions discussed modalities of offering joint degree programs, joint curriculum development, joint organization of international conferences, joint publications and the writing of joint research proposals for funding.
Congratulating the two universities, Kenyan High Commission representative, Samal Edeke, said he was honoured to bear witness to the signing. He added that Kenya and South Africa signed an Agreement of Cooperation in Scientific and Technological Innovation in 2004 following which joint calls were launched between the two countries to support researchers and innovators from public universities and research institutes for the mutual benefit of the two countries.
The MMARAU visit coincides with President Cyril Ramaphosa’s official state visit to Kenya in a bid to strengthen the two countries’ bilateral collaborations.
As a token of appreciation, the MMARAU delegation presented each VUT representative in attendance with beautiful Kikoi, a traditional cloth mostly worn by the Massai people of Kenya.