A group of 15 second-year Electrical Engineering and Telecommunications students at the Tshwane University of Technology will be the primary beneficiaries of a donation totalling to almost half a million rand by HUAWEI Technologies, an internationally leading technology company. This first-time partnership between TUT and Huawei Technologies comprises a cash donation of R480 000, while the students will also have an opportunity to complete the work-integrated learning component of their studies with the company.

The donation was handed to TUT during an official ceremony on 30 May 2013.

According to Mari Booysen, Director of TUT’s Advancement Office, Huawei Technologies will allocate bursaries to the value of R32 000 per student for the 2013/2014 academic year.  The students were interviewed and selected by HUAWEI Technologies based on academic performance, and they will be expected to specialise in the area of telecommunications.  Obviously an academic standard is also agreed to – the students must uphold their academic performance.

TUT plays an important role in the development of high-level skills for economic prosperity and to uplift the country socially. The contribution from HUAWEI Technologies will go a long way in the advancement of the University to achieve even more success in this area. TUT is honoured to be associated with HUAWEI Technologies, a company that shares this ideal and that is serious about advancing the cause of education, science, engineering and technology to ensure that our emerging country reaches its full potential. As you know, education is relevant to the needs and aspirations of a society and is a guaranteed road out of unemployment, poverty and despair,” said Ms Booysen.

She added that the agreement would be reviewed in April 2014, with a view to extending the partnership to the next group of second-year students.

“We hope this is the beginning of a long partnership. It is important for Huawei Technologies to invest in communities and we trust this partnership will help students to become responsible corporate citizens. The World Economic Forum has identified the availability of technology as a priority to improve the quality of education. It is Huawei Technology’s 13th year in South Africa and the company currently provides technology services to 50% of the population on the African continent and the company plays an important role in contributing to improve the quality of education,” said David Shun Li Wang, Public Affairs Director, Eastern and Southern Region at HUAWEI Technologies.

He added that many students will get an opportunity to work at HUAWEI Technologies and gain much needed experience as a result of the agreement with TUT. “We acknowledge with gratitude the role of industry partners in capacity and skills development. The results from various studies point to a need for students to acquire appropriate industry skills and attributes, in addition to the appropriate academic training, to become more employable. The reason for TUT’s existence is to provide quality education and prepare graduates for the job market. Hence, participating with industry partners such as you, both to obtain funding and to provide opportunities for work-integrated learning are very important to TUT,” said Prof Nthabiseng Ogude, Vice-Chancellor and Principal upon signing of the agreement.

She added that innovation and creativity is at the heart of everything we do at the Tshwane University of Technology. “As a UoT our primary focus is on technology, innovation, engagement and entrepreneurship. One thing we realise is that a large percentage of the “secret recipe” in today’s business is in working together. This means TUT needs strategic partners to meet specific needs and interests of each partner. The partnership with HUAWEI Technologies is a typical example of this approach. Through your support 15 students will be able to complete their studies, while they will also have an opportunity to enter the world of work through an approved work-integrated learning programme,” Prof Ogude concluded.

Article source: Tshwane University of Technology