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    Funding secured to build new teaching and learning links in South Africa

    Posted 8 October 2020

    “The staff stand to benefit immensely during the life of this project through sharing best practice in research, teaching and learning."

    Edmore stood in front of trees

    Harper Adams University has achieved a successful Erasmus+ mobility bid, securing more than 30,000 euros to support students and staff travelling to learn and teach in Africa.

    The Erasmus+ programme forges connections between higher education institutions, enabling study abroad options and creation of academic forums. Harper Adams applies for this funding on an annual basis to maintain its connections with other global education centres. While the university has continuously been awarded the EU travel grant, this is the first successful bid to travel to partners outside of Europe. 

    Edmore Mashatise, Lecturer in Sub-Saharan and Tropical Agriculture, was a key lead in securing the funding and spoke about the success. He said: “The total grant awarded was 32,612 euros.

    “Finding out we had been successful was pure joy, we were ecstatic. Our perseverance finally paid off. 

    “The grant will provide resources for staff exchange between Harper Adams and the University of Mpumalanga (UMP) in South Africa, our partner in this project. 

    “UMP is one of only two new universities established since the fall of apartheid in South Africa. The school of Agriculture and Natural Sciences is the biggest school at UMP, contributing about 60% of the entire student population of just under 3,000 students. 

    “Since UMP is a very young university, established in the last five years, the staff stand to benefit immensely during the life of this project through sharing best practice in research, teaching and learning via interacting and engaging with experienced staff from Harper Adams.” 

    Edmore further explained the ambitions for the project: “The duration of this non-EU Erasmus+ staff mobility program is 24 months. 

    “During the first year of the project, academic staff from UMP will visit the UK and spend time at Harper undergoing staff training to improve the quality of teaching, learning, curriculum design and quality assurance. 

    “In the second year of the project, Harper staff will in turn travel to South Africa to deliver seminars and workshops sharing best practice in quality assurance, teaching and learning, research and community engagement in agricultural supply chains. 

    “We hope to make sure that our partners from UMP in South Africa will have a great experience, Covid-19 permitting.” 

    Edmore added: “The staff mobility and exchange programme will also act as groundwork to prepare for future student exchanges between the two universities, particularly onto our postgraduate programmes.

    “We hope this Erasmus+ project will catalyse and help promote increased recruitment of international students from sub-Saharan Africa joining Harper Adams University.

    “As part of the team that secured the Erasmus+ funding, I would like to extend my thanks to Dr Mitch Crook from Harper Adams and Professor Victor Mlambo from UMP who were part of the grant application team. They contributed many hours of their time to the application process.”

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