Pretoria: Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande has signed a joint agreement with BRICS education ministers to develop a solid framework for future cooperation in education.
The agreement was signed in Moscow, Russia, on Thursday and includes areas such as general education, educational policy strategy, Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges and higher education.
It also commits the BRICS partners – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – to support joint research projects, encourage more collaborative programmes at post-graduate, doctorate and post-doctorate levels and co-publishing of scientific results by BRICS universities.
Minister Nzimande said a process was already underway to nominate 12 South African universities to participate in the BRICS Network of Universities, which will be anchor universities for collaboration.
“The department has established a national coordinating committee comprising government and members of the academic community to play an oversight role on the establishment of the BRICS Network,” Minister Nzimande said.
Significantly, Minister Nzimande said, the agreement stresses the role of TVET colleges in attracting young people to the labour market.
“We want to collaborate to improve the quality of teaching and teachers’ education. The collaboration means that we recognise the establishment of the BRICS Working Group on TVET to develop national reports, share concepts, methods and instruments of analysis matching workforce demands and supply for BRICS member countries.
“South Africa is on the whole satisfied with the issues tabled, and I think we should also find a way of foregrounding issues relating to TVET as this is one of the key strategic areas for our countries as BRICS.
“The TVET sector has the potential to unlock economic opportunities for our young people, and thereby assist to address the challenges of unemployment, inequality and poverty that affect our communities,” the Minister said.
The agreement follows a meeting in Brazil earlier this year, where member states agreed to promote the strengthening of internationalization of higher education and academic mobility, vocational and technical education, as well as to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong learning opportunities for all.
SOURCE: SOUTH AFRICAN OFFICIAL NEWS