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Stellenbosch University Prepares for Clusters of Excellence with the Guild Universities

5th August 2022

The Vice Chancellor of Stellenbosch University, Professor Wim de Villiers, has indicated that his University has had excellent bilateral relations for many years with several European universities, including those in the Guild of European Research-intensive Universities (The Guild).

Stellenbosch was therefore considering the best approaches to building on these for effective transformation into Clusters of Excellence under the EU-AU Innovation Agenda.  He highlighted what he saw as the advantages in collaboration between African and European Universities and how these could be structured to ensure equity in the partnerships.

Professor de Villiers made these remarks when he met with the Secretary-General of ARUA, Professor Ernest Aryeetey, at his office at Stellenbosch on 5th August 2022. In a meeting attended by Professor Eugene Cloete (DVC, Research, Innovation and Postgraduate Studies) and Professor Hester Klopper (DVC, Strategy, Global and Corporate Affairs), the Stellenbosch team emphasized the preparedness of their University for expanded collaboration with European universities under the ARUA umbrella. Professor Aryeetey thanked the Stellenbosch team for their immense support in undertaking various ARUA ventures, especially in capacity building for data gathering and management.

The Secretary-General also met with the Stellenbosch data team made up of Professor Ian Cloete, (Senior Director, Information Governance), Mr. Leon Eygelaar (Director, Centre for Institutional Information), and Ms. Rene Robbertze (Senior Business Intelligence Analyst). This meeting was also attended by Dr. Nico Elema (Director, Centre for Collaboration in Africa) and Professor Hester Klopper. The meeting discussed additional support that Stellenbosch could offer to build data management capacity at ARUA universities.

Professor Wim de Villers presenting a bottle of wine from Stellenbosch University winery to Professor Ernest Aryeetey
From left: Professor Hester Klopper, Professor Wim de Villiers, Professor Ernest Aryeetey, Professor Eugene Cloete and Dr. Nico Elema

In another meeting with Professor Johann Mouton and Professor Nico Cloete of CREST, the pair briefed Professor Aryeetey about various new developments in the area of bibliometric analysis, and also discussed how best ARUA could take advantage of the immense opportunities available at CREST for higher education research in Africa.

The ARUA Secretary-General, Professor Aryeetey also held discussions with Professor Neill Goosen (Director, ARUA Centre of Excellence for Energy) and Professor Sampson Mamphweli (Co-Director, ARUA Centre of Excellence for Energy) about the operations of the Energy Centre. Other meetings included one with Professor Wikus van Niekerk (Dean, Faculty of Engineering) and Professor Petrie Meyer (Vice-Dean, Research, Faculty of Engineering to discuss how best they could support ARUA work at Stellenbosch. They agreed on the need to decentralize ARUA structures.