Global collaboration a step forward in education

January 21, 2009 by SAP News 0

JohannesburgAs a way of indicating its support to further education globally and in pursuance of meeting the mandate of the Presidential Advisory Council on Information and Communication Technology, the SAP University Alliances recently hosted twelve students from Helsinki Metropolia University of Applied Sciences in Finland in South Africa. The students are part of the first cohort of students undertaking a study tour known as the Africa Project. The students based their study on the Total Learning Project Methodology. The aim of the project is to equip students with the tools to do business in the African region and to gain experience in international trade and business practices.

The SAP University Alliances were the first to commit to the study tour and involved SAP South Africa, the Department of Education, institutions of Learning, the Pan South African Language Board and SAP CSI Projects to exchange ideas with the students and their supervisor. Through these interactions the students were exposed to all facets of the South African environment and they were the first to confirm that global industry projects and internships play a pivotal in the learning and research enterprise.

‘This visit has given us the opportunity to get involved with global practices like the Total Learning Projects, where universities and other higher education institutions encourages students to take a global view and action towards their studies. We believe that collaboration is key, and that our own institutions can also take a leaf from these kinds of global practices in order to see an improved education system,’ says Max Fuzani, director of University Alliance at SAP Africa.

‘We think that collaboration between Finland and South Africa is important, particularly as businesses around the world begin focusing on Africa. We therefore need to ensure that our skills are on par with global standards and prerequisites, whilst maintaining a strong focus on local skills need.’ adds Fuzani.

As part of the University Alliances drive to introduce SAP software in most institutions in the continent, the students were also tasked with designing methods of introducing the program to the institutions that did not have the SAP University curricula yet.

Arising from this visit, the University Alliances is in discussion with the CIDA Campus and the Department of Education in South Africa to run an Annual Exchange Programme between students in Africa and Finland based on the Total Learning Project.

‘The Study Tour to South Africa has really been an eye opener to all of us. We’ve learned so much about working life and the history of South Africa. In addition we also learned how things work outside Finland. We all fell in love with the people and the weather. The trip was a once in a lifetime opportunity for us.’ says Hanna Haapanen, one of the students from Helsinki.

More information on the project is available on the students’ blog, go to the web site: www.ryhma6.blogspot.com/.

About SAP
SAP is the world’s leading provider of business software(*), offering applications and services that enable companies of all sizes and in more than 25 industries to become best-run businesses. With approximately 76,000 customers (includes customers from the acquisition of Business Objects) in over 120 countries, the company is listed on several exchanges, including the Frankfurt stock exchange and NYSE, under the symbol “SAP.” (For more information, visit www.sap.com)

For more information on SAP University Alliances please contact:
Max Fuzani
University Alliances Manager
Tel: 011 235 6000
Email: max.fuzani@sap.com