South Africa National Science Foundation CEO visits UC

Dr Molapo Qhobela (Chief Executive Officer of the South Africa National Science Foundation) visited UC this week to discuss possible research collaborations between South African universities and New Zealand. Dr Qhobela has vast experience in the South African university sector and the national research sector, including being Vice-Principal at the University of South Africa, Deputy Director-General at the Department of Science and Technology, and Acting Director-General at the Department of Higher Education and Training.

Dr Molapo Qhobela presented a lecture on Monday this week, hosted by Vice-Chancellor Professor Cheryl de La Rey, entitled “The Role of Science for the Sustainable Development Goals, and Opportunity for Africa – NZ Collaboration”, which was followed by a group discussion on potential synergies between Aotearoa New Zealand and South Africa.

Dr Molapo Qhobela (Chief Executive Officer of the South Africa National Science Foundation) with UC Deputy Vice-Chancellor Ian Wright. 

Discussion points for follow-up included the collaborative use of research infrastructure, exchange programmes for research fellows, greater awareness of researchers and research funders around the impact of research (and how impact is assessed), and potential for both countries to work together to promote internationally a process of indigenous knowledge systems being weaved and connected with Western society science understanding.

Dr Qhobela has regular contact with the Royal Society Te Apārangi and MBIE as part of the Global Research Alliance to undertake international research to better support policy and societal choices around the UN Sustainable Development Goals.