Univen and Walter Sisulu University collaborate in knowledge production and dissemination


The University of Venda and Walter Sisulu University are proud to co-host their first joint International Research Conference themed “Research and Innovation for Sustainable Development and the Transformation of Society” at the International Convention Centre, East London, Eastern Cape, South Africa starting on Wednesday, 02 September to Friday, 04 September 2015.

Eastern Cape MEC for Education Mandla Makupula will deliver a keynote address to kick off proceedings, preceded by Advisor to UNISA Vice Chancellor and Principal, Dr Somadoda Fikeni.

A highlight of the conference will be a panel discussion of Vice-Chancellors and Deputy Vice-Chancellors which will focus on Transformation of the higher education landscape: graduate and staffing qualities, funding and employability which will be facilitated by Prof Peter Mbati, the Vice Chancellor and Principal of Univen.

Univen’s Director of Research and Innovation Prof Georges-Ivo Ekosse highlights that knowledge should be generated and disseminated through various platforms, and specifically through international collaborative research conferences.

“Research and innovation underlie the core business of universities and increasingly inform our engagement with partners at local (community), national, regional and international level”, says Prof Ekosse.

He explains that the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the University of Venda and Walter Sisulu University provides the umbrella under which the conference is organised.

The Conference subthemes will include: Research, teaching and learning in higher education; Indigenous Knowledge Systems (IKS); Public Health, HIV/AIDS and opportunistic infections; Law, security, governance and conflict resolution; Climate change: Food, Water and energy security; Appropriate technologies and entrepreneurship; Functional multilingualism in Southern Africa and E-skills for rural development.

“It’s important to note that the transformation of society is crucial for any higher education institution for it to be seen as relevant to those it serves. As a result, WSU is a community engaged university that is attempting to be embedded to the community it serves,” says WSU Interim Vice Chancellor and Principal Prof Khaya Mfenyana.

During the conference 500 papers and posters will be presented. One of the major objectives of the conference is to develop the publishing skills of emerging researchers and postgraduate students of the two Universities. The two Universities are planning to transform the presentations sinto peer-reviewed journal articles. This process will be supported through writing retreats which will be organised by the Directorates of Research of the two Universities.

Image: Conference chairpersons Prof George Ekosse (UNIVEN) together with WSU's director for research Dr Elphina Cishe (background) in preparation for the conference beginning tomorrow.