The Week forms part of the Finnish-African Network for Higher Education in Environmental Sciences (FAHNEES) Exchange Programme between higher education institutions, promoting North-South and South-South collaboration.
Students and staff from HAMK University of Applied Sciences and Metropolia University of Applied Sciences in Finland, North West University in South Africa and University of Botswana joined their counterparts at the Poly to attend lectures in the programme funded by the Foreign Ministry of Finland. The Finnish-based Lahti University of Applied Sciences is the co-ordinating institution of the programme.
The primary focus of the FAHNEES Programme is the mobility of students and lecturers in the fields of Environmental Sciences, Environmental Management and the sustainable use of natural resources. Some of the spin-offs of the programme include improved communication among partner institutions and curriculum and course content development which have enhanced co-operation among the partners in Southern Africa. Other areas of achievement is the exchange, enrichment and sharing of professional ideas by lecturers from African partnering countries through lecturing activities in all the Finnish partner universities.
Welcoming the group to the Poly, Rector, Prof Tjama Tjivikua, expressed his gratitude for the support and sponsorship of the programme and many other collaboration initiatives at the Poly by the Government of Finland. He said this support touches the lives of students and staff and leaves a positive lasting impression.
“The collaboration and exchange of experts through this initiative will also enhance professionalism among the academic staff where experience acquired will translate into improved teaching and learning processes. The projects that are carried out by the students will also enrich and create better students’ understanding of our environment and the need for its protection through dissemination of knowledge and implementing projects on climatic change and sustainable development in relation to the UN Development Goals.
“These students are our future leaders who will be in the forefront of decision making with respect to important issues affecting the global village. Hence, we have the responsibility to properly equip them with knowledge that will assist them in taking informed decisions. I believe the FAHNEES network will play this important role,” Tjivikua said.