The collaborative and research education hub that seeks to bring together the practical and research orientated aspects of ICT for supporting the country’s sustainability efforts, kicked off at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU). The Hub for Education on ICT for Sustainability (HEdIS) is a collaborative project of Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, in Port Elizabeth, the University of Cape Town and Carl von Ossietzky University, in Oldenburg, that will be run through the South African universities’ computing science departments over four years.
The project is based on a well-established and long-standing partnership between the two South African universities involving numerous faculties and schools, tapping into their expertise as comprehensive universities with strong links to the entire Sub-Saharan region. Carl von Ossietzky University is an internationally recognized university from the Global North with a long-standing track record in sustainability research, teaching and community engagement.
At NMMU, the Hub will be established and run at the Department of Computing Sciences, getting its full academic and infrastructural support. The HEdIS, primarily funded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), will explore six major sustainability topics for research-oriented as well as practice-related teaching that have specific regard to the South African context. These include Water Management, Energy Efficiency, Waste Management, Sustainable Mobility, Education on Sustainability and Sustainability Entrepreneurship.
Within the project runtime, teaching modules for the above-mentioned themes will be developed and each topic supplied with courses and course related offers for the students. In addition to the ultimate extension of existing study programmes at NMMU and UCT for students, the project will address vocational training activities for company participants.
A number of activities are lined up and will take place over the project’s four-year timeframe, including workshops, summer schools and overall project management. German and South African researchers, as well as key business partners, will engage participants in some of these planned activities.
ICT students and other participants elected by networked industry partners will be chosen to attend the Summer schools, getting an opportunity to not only improve their competencies in the specific topic, but be afforded exposure to a global network of educators, researchers, innovators, industry experts and academics.