US-SA partner to strengthen skills development

Monday, October 19, 2009

Pretoria - A partnership between the United States (US) and South Africa is expected to strengthen academic programs, skills development training and student support services at 12 selected FET colleges in South Africa.

The new bi-lateral international partnership between the South African Government, Department of Higher Education and Training and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) will be launched on Tuesday.

The $6.7 million programme will operate over a three year period at Further Education and Training (FET) colleges in Limpopo, Mpumalanga and the Northern Cape.

It will be implemented by the American Council on Education and American Association of Community Colleges.

The programme will work to strengthen the FET college sector's institutional capacity in student support services programs and offer a wide range of professional development programs for college lecturers.

The team will also provide consultative support through partnerships with the private sector and exchange opportunities with US colleges and universities.

In his State of the Nation Address earlier this year, President Jacob Zuma identified FET colleges as primary sites for skills development over the next five years.

In addition, FET colleges have been identified as the key institutions to broaden post-school education and training opportunities.

Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande is expected to unveil the project at the Waterberg FET College in Mokopane, Limpopo.