On 5-6 October 2017, the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Government of South Africa’s Department for Higher Education and Training (DHET) co-hosted a conference focused on engineering education and research.

The two-day conference brought together government officials, professional engineering institutions and academics from across Southern Africa and the UK to discuss topics including: how to improve undergraduate teaching, and the potential of partnerships to increase engineering research capability.

The event, which was supported by the British High Commission in South Africa, also showcased UK Government-funded Academy partnerships. Namely:

  • IAPP, which supports long-term partnerships between industry and academia to improve higher education teaching and to build research and innovation capacity
  • Africa Catalyst, which works to strengthen professional engineering bodies in sub-Saharan Africa so that they can effectively promote the profession, share best practice and increase local engineering capacity
  • HEPSSA, which aims to improve the quality of teaching in higher education institutions in sub-Saharan Africa by supporting industry-academia collaborations

The conference provided an opportunity for the group to share best practice – from ideas and knowledge sharing to helpful resources – and the discussions and networking opportunities have to date resulted in two collaborations between South Africa, the SADC region and the UK. 

The event has also further developed the strong partnership between the UK and South Africa, and created future opportunities for mutually-beneficial collaboration to foster improved engineering capabilities and meet respective national development objectives. 

For more information on the themes covered during the event and the projects that were showcased, please click here.