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SU to coordinate regional Centre of Vocational Excellence in Water
Author: Faculty of Science (media and communication)
Published: 14/06/2023

​​The Stellenbosch University Water Institute will coordinate the establishment of the first regional Centre of Vocational Excellence (CoVE) in Water – making it the first initiative of the Platform of Vocational Excellence in Water outside the European Union.

The Platform of Vocational Excellence in Water is a project, funded by the European Union, to upskill professional workers in the water sector. Four CoVEs in Water have already been established in The Netherlands, Malta, the Czech Republic and Latvia.

During the launch of the regional CoVE in Water on 23 May 2023, Prof. Sibusiso Moyo, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Research, Innovation and Postgraduate Studies at SU, said the establishment of the platform is in line with the Department of Higher Education and Training's objective to increase partnerships between universities, Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges, the private sector and government.

“The outcome is to link TVET institutions with the latest research outcomes, thereby increasing the relevancy of training with the labour market and increasing graduates' chances for employment. Stellenbosch University, through the SU Water Institute, has an established track record with TVET institutions," she added.

The launch, which took place at the Stellenbosch University Museum, was attended by representatives from the Department of Water and Sanitation, the Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning, the Department of Science and Innovation, the Energy Water Sector Education Training Authority (EWSETA), the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO) and Rand Water, and from Europe representatives from CIV Water, Learning Hub Friesland, Province of Fryslân, Maastricht School of Management, and Wavemakers United.  South African TVET colleges present at the event included Capricorn TVET College, Vhembe TVET College, Lovedale TVET College, Northlink TVET College, False Bay TVET College, and West Coast College.

Over the next three years SUWI's role will be to coordinate the project on a regional level while the European partners contribute their knowledge and experience of establishing a CoVE in Water. The objective of the regional CoVE in Water will be to serve as an intermediary between South Africa's TVET colleges and industry.

The launch was followed by several meetings between the representatives and other important stakeholders such as the Department of Higher Education and Training, the Agriculture Sector Education Training Authority (Agriseta), the Technology and Innovation Agency, the Western Cape Government, Drakenstein Municipality, UNESCO, the Namibian University of Science and Technology and the Southern African Development Cooperation.

The representatives also participated in site visits to the WaterHub in Franschhoek – a joint initiative between the Future Water Institute at the University of Cape Town, Stellenbosch Municipality, and the Western Cape government – and the Boy Louw Borehole Treatment Plant in Paarl, managed by the Drakenstein Municipality.     

For more information related to the platform, contact Manuel Jackson at​​​