School of Education staff members Dr Angela James and Ms Bongekile Mnguni completed a ten-day mobility programme at Liepaja University in Latvia as part of the Erasmus+ mobility exchange project which included meetings, teaching, a public lecture and excursions.
UKZN’s existing Memorandum of Understanding with Liepaja University allows staff and students at both institutions to study and research and take advantage of student exchange programmes and undertake collaborative research.
The agreement was initiated by James, a senior lecturer at the School, who presented classes for PhD students at Liepaja on research and service-learning.
James and Mnguni delivered a public lecture at the university on Agents of Change, which examined teacher professional development giving an indication of the School of Education’s involvement in the Communities for Enhancement, with reference to administrative, academic and community focused matters.
Speaking about the programme, Mnguni said: ‘The network sessions held with Liepaja administrative staff revealed many similarities in work and challenges experienced in our sector at UKZN’ while James said ‘the opportunity of engaging with administrative and academic staff is holistically
enhancing for all. The collaboration has a great deal of vision and growth for the future of all staff and students at UKZN and Liepaja University.’
Excursions were organised to the university’s Research Institute of Education and Science, Liepaja Middle School No 5, and the Liepaja Society for the Blind as well as tours to cultural and tourist attractions.
Meetings were held with a range of professionals from various sectors of the university, including the International Relations Department.
Future possible collaborations between the School of Education and Liepaja University are research projects in circular economy; students and staff participating in the Eastern European Doctoral Summer School; music therapy programmes; special needs programmes; Montessori therapy for primary schools, and other opportunities such as cooperation in environmental sciences.
Ms Sintija Leigute and Professor Linda Pavītola of Liepaja University will visit UKZN’s School of Education on Erasmus+ mobility from 19 to 28 August this year.
*This mobility is linked to the mutual Memorandum of Understanding, Erasmus+ partnership agreement and international Erasmus+ mobility exchange project KA107 of students and staff between programme and partner countries (No. 2020-1-LV01-KA107-077408) which has been implemented between the School of Education, UKZN, and Liepaja University, LiepU.