Lesotho (National University of Lesotho) National University of Lesotho collaborates with University of the Free State

One of the strategic objectives of the National University of Lesotho is to strengthen the internationalization of the curriculum and expand partnerships and cooperation. On August <>, NUL management hosted Professor Francis William Petersen, University Rector and Vice-Rector of the University of the Free State (UFS), and his entourage.

The purpose of the visit was to strengthen existing joint projects and identify potential areas of cooperation that the two institutions could study in depth.

NUL Vice Chancellor Prof. Kananelo Mosito explained that the collaboration began in November, when representatives of the two universities met at the University of the Free State.

Prof. Mosito noted that several areas of cooperation were identified, which are:

a) Research: The two institutions have agreed to undertake joint research projects.
b) Increase student mobility, especially for graduate students, through part-time supervision and joint degrees between the two institutions.
c) Community involvement.
d) Externalization of examinations
(e) Short-term staff exchange programmes and staff mobility for doctoral capacity development and supervision.

NUL Vice-Chancellor Professor Isaac Olusola Fajana welcomed the team from the University of the Free State and appreciated meeting with the UFS Vice-Chancellor and Vice-Chancellor. Professor Fajana said NUL is proud to be partnering with UFS as UFS will be 130 years old this year while NUL will be over 75 years old. Therefore, learning from each other is important because they are mature academic institutions.

“No university can afford to go it alone. As institutions of higher education, we have a responsibility to address social issues such as unemployment, poverty, the economy, mortality, violence, etc. I believe that when institutions work together, they are able to deliver solutions more quickly and easily than if they acted alone, “Professor Fajana stressed.

In his welcoming remarks, UFS President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Francis William Petersen expressed his gratitude, specifying that this was his first visit to the National University of Lesotho and that it was a great feeling since their arrival.

Professor Petersen highlights two key elements that he believes are important in any partnership; These are quality and purpose. It doesn’t matter if the other partner is local or international, he said. As long as the partnership has clear objectives and everything is done at the highest level of quality, there is no doubt that everything will go smoothly, which is the fundamental foundation.

“We have to make sure the university engages not only with herself, but with the rest of society…… Such engagement is essential to elevate and build a region. When universities collaborate, they also co-create what they are collaborating on and learn from each other, “he added.

It was also revealed during this meeting that collaboration between the two universities has long existed, although mostly at the individual staff level on research projects.