Bath embarks on ground-breaking deal with South African Government


The University of Bath is to provide advanced leadership training to senior South African Higher Education professionals in a ground-breaking new partnership with the South African Government.

In the first such partnership between a UK university and the South African Government, two cohorts of 27 senior professional staff (one from each South African university and one from the Government’s Department of Higher Education and Training) will study for a professional Doctorate in Business Administration (Higher Education Management) delivered by the University of Bath.

The first intensive residential course, which is a core component of the Bath DBA (HEM), will be delivered at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) in Port Elizabeth, which has been awarded a collaborative grant from the South African Department of Higher Education and Training to lead and manage the project in the country.

Leading academics from Bath’s School of Management will fly over to NMMU in January 2016 to launch the course to the first cohort, with the second cohort due to start in January 2017.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) will be officially signed by the University of Bath’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Dame Glynis Breakwell, and the NMMU Vice Chancellor, Professor Derrick Swartz, at a special event today (Wednesday 30 September) at the University of Pretoria.

The signing will take place in the presence of Colm McGivern, the British Council's Director in South Africa, key representatives from the South African Government, and representatives of the Vice-Chancellors from each of the South African universities.

Professor Dame Glynis Breakwell, Vice-Chancellor, said: “The University of Bath is proud and delighted to celebrate this unique partnership with all the universities of South Africa.

“We take our responsibilities for this hugely valuable partnership very seriously. It speaks strongly to our international values and philosophy: partnership for the long-term for social and intellectual benefit.”

Professor Colin Grant, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Internationalisation at the University of Bath, added: “This is a path-breaking agreement in so many ways. From its inception, the University of Bath’s international strategy has been explicit about commitment to Africa. To have this level of agreement with so many fine institutions is a wonderful opportunity and privilege.”

Leaders of South African universities have reacted favourably to, and welcomed this initiative. NMMU’s Dean of Teaching and Learning, Professor Cheryl Foxcroft, enthused: “This initiative will address the manage capacity needs in our university sector. I’m hopeful that those who complete the DBA will act as catalysts in their institutions to enhance management efficiency and effectiveness.”