Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University gets R30 million merSETA boost

OCTOBER 29, 2015

In a major boost to the developing ocean economy in South Africa, merSETA is to provide R30 million over the next three years to Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University to, among others, establish a Bachelor of Engineering Technology in Marine Engineering degree.

This is part of merSETA’s contribution to the strategic Operation Phakisa initiative of Government, which focuses on the “blue” economy.  Operation Phakisa seeks to unlock the economic potential of the country’s oceans.

“Not only will this agreement allow for the generation of new qualifications in the developing sector of marine engineering, but it also allows for the development of TVET curricula as well as creating progression for TVET learners to university in the marine sector,” says merSETA CEO Dr Raymond Patel.

“The investment by merSETA demonstrates their confidence in NMMU and will enable the university to source top experts in the marine engineering field to teach, support and grow students in the maritime industry, increase research for naval architecture and ship engineering, as well as establish the NMMU as a world class maritime university,” says NMMU Vice-Chancellor Prof Derrick Swartz.

This agreement will also open up new job opportunities for participants.

merSETA has a long-term partnership with NMMU that began in 2010 with the establishment of the merSETA Chair in Engineering Development.  This partnership includes collaboration with TVET Colleges, technical high schools, new technology development as well as support to woman in engineering.

"The merSETA is a very proactive SETA, driven by goals that enhance critical engineering skills of our students and learners.  The association with merSETA will significantly contribute to the maritime future of the Eastern Cape region," says Karl du Preez, merSETA Chair in Engineering Development at NMMU.

The NMMU has completed the initial design of the academic programme for the new Marine Engineering degree and will now follow formal procedures for approval via the Department of Higher Education and Training.

It is envisaged the new degree will open in 2017.