Universities South Africa signs a collaborative agreement with a consortium of Texas universities

Published On: 28 March 2024|

Universities South Africa (USAf), a representative association of South Africa’s 26 public universities, has sealed an exciting partnership with the Texas International Education Consortium (TIEC), which represents over 50 institutions of higher learning in Texas – in the United States of America.

The partnership was formalised during a joint signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) by chief executive officers of the two organisations at the USAf office in Hatfield, Pretoria, on Friday, 8 March. Dr Phethiwe Matutu, USAf’s CEO, represented USAf alongside her counterpart, Ms Robin Lerner of TIEC.

Ms Robin Lerner (left), CEO of TIEC, and Dr Phethiwe Matutu, CEO of USAf, sealed this relationship during an MoU co-signing ceremony at the USAf office in Pretoria on 8 March.

Central to this partnership is a common pursuit for collaboration in initiatives set to advance mutual goals. USAf, on the one hand, is being driven by its mission to strengthen the higher education institutions of South Africa through advocacy, building capacity, and advancing collaboration with local and international partners and with society. The TIEC, on the other hand, is dedicated to advancing higher education internationalisation and promoting international education and cultural exchange activities. Thus, the two bodies share a common vision of fostering intellectual curiosity, academic excellence, and global citizenship among the institutions they represent. They share a common commitment to advancing partnerships that generate mutual benefit.

To that end, USAf and the TIEC will jointly seek funding opportunities to advance each other’s mission and values and achieve models of global partnership. They will explore opportunities for collaborative global learning by encouraging faculty, staff, and students to engage in meaningful projects that contribute to the betterment of society. Through a Preferred Partner Network, the two agree to publicly announce intended collaboration to mutually expand global reach and provide opportunities for sustained collaboration and exchange.

First up on the USAf-TIEC agenda is a renewable energy programme that will see South Africa’s universities teaming up with their Texan counterparts on renewable energy solutions — a direct response to South Africa’s energy crisis and Just Energy Transition.

Funded by the United States Department of State through the U.S. Embassy in Pretoria, the programme will be pursuing the goals of the Just Energy Transition in South Africa. The programme primarily targets universities, community colleges, and technical and vocational education and training (TVET) programmes in Texas and South Africa, with intent to promote cross-cultural collaboration across U.S. and South African institutions to impart innovative action plans for energy transition, to foster international partnership for climate solutions, and engage and uplift communities’ education and skills development.

The joint TIEC-USAf programme will see member institutions participating in a series of virtual seminars, multiple stakeholder engagements and a reciprocal in-person exchange visits during 2024.

‘Mateboho Green is Universities South Africa’s Manager: Corporate Communications.