SPU and MQA: Advancing development through strategic collaboration

On 6 March 2024, Sol Plaatje University (SPU) and the Mining Qualifications Authority (MQA) took a significant step towards strengthening their partnership, with SPU’s Vice-Chancellor, Prof Andrew Crouch, and MQA’s CEO, Dr Thabo Mashongoane, leading the way. This collaboration underscores SPU’s commitment to addressing regional challenges, particularly those amplified by poverty and unemployment in the Northern Cape, through innovative educational programmes.

The MQA’s contribution to this partnership includes a series of skills development initiatives aimed at creating a proficient workforce recognised under the National Qualifications Framework (NQF). These initiatives are designed to elevate the mining sector’s standards in health, safety and productivity. The discussion covered the MQA’s bursary schemes, learnerships, internships, lecturer support programme and community support initiatives aimed at fostering academic excellence and providing financial support to deserving students.

Prof Crouch highlighted SPU’s strategic goals, emphasising the university’s holistic approach to student support, which addresses academic and personal development needs. This ensures the cultivation of well-rounded graduates equipped to contribute effectively to their chosen fields.

The collaboration between SPU and MQA is structured around a comprehensive agreement that outlines mutual roles and responsibilities. It aims to provide clear strategies for extending the support to MQA bursars, future collaboration and special programmes.

Current SPU students benefiting from MQA support are in critical fields such as Biological Sciences, Physical Sciences, and Retail Business Management, aligning with the region’s development needs and the broader objectives of both institutions. Following the meeting today the financial support will extend to other fields which are strategically important to SPU and the MQA.

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