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New University partnership to enhance academic capacity in Wales and Namibia

22 June 2023

The new agreement between Cardiff University and the University of Namibia builds on nearly a decade of collaboration between the two universities dating back to the establishment of the Phoenix Project in 2014. Standing (L-R): Dr Marius Kudumo, Pinehaus Auene, Rt Hon Mark Drakeford MS, Pat Younge, Professor Ambreena Manji, Professor Rudolf Allemann and Ms Ebben Mutjavikua. Seated: (L-R) Professor Kenneth Matengu and Professor Colin Riordan.

An international civic mission partnership has been established between Cardiff University and the University of Namibia (UNAM).

The five-year agreement will focus on enhancing academic capacity and training, increase the international mobility of staff and students, and promote research exchanges in areas of mutual intellectual interest across disciplines.

Led by Professor Ambreena Manji, Cardiff University’s International Dean for Africa, the agreement will underpin bids to external funders, explore ways to connect Cardiff’s civic mission activities, and bring together its international partners.

A successful Cardiff bid to the British Academy has already secured for an International Fellow from UNAM.

The new partnership was signed by the Vice-Chancellor of Cardiff University Professor Colin Riordan and the Vice-Chancellor of UNAM Professor Kenneth Matengu at an event attended by the First Minister of Wales Rt Hon Mark Drakeford MS and Mr Pinehaus Auene, who joined on behalf of Namibian High Commissioner to the UK and Northern Ireland Linda Scott.

Professor Colin Riordan, Vice-Chancellor and President of Cardiff University, said: “Today, is something of a capstone moment for me as we renew our commitment to a long-standing collaborative relationship with the University of Namibia, which began, some two years after I joined Cardiff University, in July 2014, with the establishment of the Phoenix Project.

“Since then, the Phoenix Project, which worked with partners in Namibia to reduce poverty and promote both health and a sustainable environment, has delivered nearly a decade of civic mission and research programmes under the leadership of Professor Judith Hall, including, of course, combating the significant challenges of the global COVID-19 pandemic with timely delivery of vaccines, oxygen and PPE.

“So, I’m delighted that we are committing to another five years of partnership with our UNAM colleagues and will together be exploring new avenues for impactful and intellectually lively research collaborations.”

Cardiff University’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Colin Riordan addresses an audience in the Univeristy’s Main Building.
Cardiff University Vice-Chancellor Professor Colin Riordan reflects on the nearly decade-long relationship with UNAM and its successes at an event marking the start of the new international civic mission partnership between the two universities.

The event was part of a four-day visit by the UNAM delegation, during which they met with a wide range of colleagues at Cardiff in the domains of university governance and in research areas in which Cardiff has a global reputation.

Professor Kenneth Matengu, Vice-Chancellor of UNAM, added: “The collaboration between our two universities over the years is important for me, as the cooperation has been relevant, responsive, and had a global impact.”

The largest and leading national institution of higher education in Namibia, UNAM celebrated its 30th anniversary in August 2022.

Over three decades the university has grown to support a student population of over 30,000 from 41 countries across four faculties and 16 academic schools including engineering, medicine, nursing, public health, pharmacy, dentistry, social sciences, law and computing.

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