My application to the Fusion Investment Fund (FIF) has been successful. The funds will be used to establish research collaboration, student and staff exchanges with the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), South Africa. I will be travelling to the UKZN during Easter this month for an exploratory visit. While at UKZN, I will present a paper to the School of Accounting, Economics and Finance. This will be followed by a series of meetings with students and staff. On my return, I will apply to Bournemouth University to put in place the three relationships.
A successful establishment of the three aforesaid relationships will have many enormous benefits to the students and staff of BU and UKZN. For example, students should benefit culturally in terms of spending sometime in South Africa and UK respectively due to differences in the two countries’ cultures. In addition to cultural awareness, the staff exchange will benefit the staff involved through observing how lecturers in a different country deliver lectures. Apart from co-authoring academic journal articles, research collaboration between BU and UKZN staff should be beneficial where the research call (e.g. Horizon 2020) requires that researchers from Europe collaborate with a partner from South Africa.
At an institution level, the relationships should help BU in two main ways. Firstly, student exchange should increase awareness of BU in Africa which may translate into increase in percentage of African students enrolled at BU. Increasing the percentage of students from Africa is important for BU because currently less than 4% of our students are from Africa compared to 8% UK universities average. Secondly, the increase in student population from Africa will also help BU achieve the strategic plan objective of increasing overseas students’ recruitment by 15% by 2015.
UKNZ is the third largest university in South Africa and a very good university and also shares great similarities in university teaching, research and enterprise activities with those of the Business School, School of Tourism, Design, Engineering and Computing, School of Health and Social Care. Further information about the university can be found on: http://www.ukzn.ac.za/.
Dr Ven Tauringana, Associate Professor of Accounting – The Business School