Strengthening International University Partnerships
A delegation from the University College London (UCL), a global partner of UKZN, recently visited the College of Health Sciences.
UCL, which is ranked as the seventh leading university internationally in the QS World University Rankings 2018, has produced 29 Nobel Laureates and is a world leader in research.
Professor Michael Arthur, UCL President and Provost, said the main aim of the visit was to strengthen international partnerships especially around impactful research priority areas with partners which have the same approach to diversity and equality as UCL.
UCL’s delegation consisted of Arthur; Vice-Provost-International, Dame Nicola Brewer; Pro-Vice provost-Africa and Middle East and professor of Pharmaceutical Nanosciences, Professor Ijeoma Uchegbu; Vice-Dean International and Director of the UCL Institute for Global Health, Professor Ibrahim Abubaker; Head of Global Partnerships, Mr Ciaran Moynihan, and Partnerships Officer, Ms Jovana Savanovic.
Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Head of UKZN’s College of Health Sciences, Professor Busisiwe Ncama, welcomed guests and emphasised UKZN’s mission to strive for excellence, be innovative and ensure research was impactful. Ncama, together with the CHS Dean of Research, Dr Michelle Gordon, discussed the CHS’s research priorities within which synergies could be formed with UCL academics.
Some of the priority areas include strengthening health systems research, HIV and autoimmune conditions, rheumatology, HIV and ageing, mental health, inter-professional health education, clinical pharmacy and advanced research skills.
A robust discussion ensued with the agreement that UCL would consider offering joint PhD studies with UKZN, developing online courses, setting up small research groups, offering flying faculty who will teach at UKZN and ensure joint supervision of projects.
Both parties welcomed the new areas identified to strengthen the partnership which will ensure that the two universities reach their goal of expanding internationalisation whilst ensuring that research has a meaningful impact in the local context.
Words: MaryAnn Francis