Spelman College Partners With South African University To Help Foster Sustainable Development
For the past 18 months, Spelman College has been working with Mangosuthu Technikon, a South African university in Durban, to increase staff and infrastructure development in three areas: grants and contracts; marketing and communications; and alumni development.
Teams of administrators from Spelman and Mangosuthu traveled to each other’s campuses to facilitate workshops, engage in workplace shadowing experiences and develop strategies and systems geared toward strengthening Mangosuthu’s capacity to increase institutional visibility and fund raising.
The culminating event was the conference, “Progress Through Partnership: Sustaining Development in the New South Africa,” held in July at the Elangeni Hotel in Durban. The conference allowed administrators from diverse institutions of higher education, across two continents, to learn about project accomplishments, share strategies and raise awareness about the role that higher education plays in fostering sustainable development.
“This partnership has been a learning experience for Spelman, as well as (for) Mangosuthu” says Olivia A. Scriven, project director, Spelman College-Mangosuthu Technikon Cross-Hemispheric Partnership and conference convener. “It has forced us to think more strategically about what we do, how we do it, and how we might learn from others to perform our jobs more effectively.”
Both Spelman and Mangosuthu are institutions borne out of legalized segregation. Spelman was founded in 1881 to provide higher education opportunities for formerly enslaved Black women. Mangosuthu was established in 1979 to provide access to higher education for a majority population disenfranchised under apartheid.
The Spelman-Mangosuthu Cross-Hemispheric Partnership was launched with $125,000 in funding from the Association Liaison Office, through a collaborative agreement with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). “Links between U.S. colleges and universities and South African institutions help build partnerships and shared experiences,” says Cynthia Chassy, education and training team leader, USAID South Africa. “We support the South African government and a number of civil society organizations to promote development solutions that transform the country equitably for its citizens.”
The conference “is the first of many gatherings that will generate ideas and collaborative plans of action about how we can best lead, manage and provide visions of growth for our institutions” says Mbali Mkhize, tertiary education linkages project manager and conference convener.
Visit <www.mantec.ac.za/conference.html> for more information about the “Progress Through Partnership” conference.
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