On 3 September 2019, UWA hosted a dinner convened by University of Pretoria (UP) Vice-Chancellor Prof. Tawana Kupe for WA-based alumni of UP. Prof. Kupe has earlier attended the AAUN Australia Forum at UWA and the WA dinner was the first in a series of similar UP alumni events led by the VC across Australia and New Zealand.
UWA Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Global Partnerships) Mr Tayyeb Shah welcomed Prof. Kupe, Prof. Frans Swanepoel, Director of UP International Strategic Partnerships, Ms Samantha Castle, Senior Manager, UP Alumni Relations, and other guests to UWA. AfREC was represented by Director Dr David Mickler and Research Fellows A/Prof Warrick van Zyl and Dr Sven Ouzman, both with their own connections back to UP.
In addition to their active co-membership of the Australia Africa Universities Network (AAUN), UWA and UP signed an institutional MoU in August 2018 which has so far involved reciprocal Visiting Fellowships for Prof. Swanepoel at UWA and Dr Mickler at UP, a six-month PhD exchange for AfREC Postgraduate Fellow Tinashe Jakwa, and UP hosting a UWA-led collaborative short course on the International Relations of the Indian Ocean Region.
Mr Shah highlighted the strong and productive relationship between UWA and UP as well as the importance of engaging alumni networks. Prof. Kupe, who commenced as VC in January 2019, provided an update on the position of the University of Pretoria and outlined his vision and priorities for the University’s future, including a number of important new initiatives that have either just come on line or will commence shortly. These include the new UP Future Africa Institute and its unique residential campus. UP will also host the next AAUN Africa Forum in late March 2020.