The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed by the Midlands State University and Tel Aviv University has begun to bear fruit, with two MSU students having completed a Master of Science in Molecular Biology and Ecology of Plants.
The Memorandum of Understanding was signed in March 2017 in Tel Aviv, Israel where the University was represented by the Registrar, Mr Erasmus Mupfiga and the Executive Dean of Natural Resources Management and Agriculture, Professor Johnson Masaka among others.
The two students, Anyway Chofamba and Bridget Mwabvu began their 18 months programme in October 2017, following the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding.
Professor Masaka expressed satisfaction that MSU became a pace setter, by becoming the first local university to have such an achievement adding that the field of Molecular Biology is relevant and answers to calls by the National Skills Audit.
‘The Faculty doesn’t have Molecular Biologists, people who can articulate the idea of selling biology at molecular level, let alone getting the right machinery and operating them. We do not have the skills, but these students can come and offer the capacity to the Faculty to venture into Molecular Biology,’ said Professor Masaka.
One of the beneficiaries Anyway Chofamba hailed the MOU saying the programme gave him the opportunity to have a personal laboratory under the supervision of two internal PhD holders as well as an external advisor.
‘Israel is one of the leading nations in terms of technology, specifically in the field of Agriculture in line with the discipline I was doing. I had an opportunity to design and implement practicum and projects. At the same time I was giving professional advice to the leading agricultural companies under the extension services department,’ he said.
Another beneficiary of the MOU, Bridget Mwabvu concurred with her counterpart, saying the friendship between MSU and Tel Aviv University has become a doorway for opportunities that exposes local students to international trends.
She said, ‘I was exposed to a whole new world and different systems, which I can say helped me to grow in every aspect of life, to think and see things differently. New passions have been birthed in me, new networks both business and social. All these are things that I could never have found if had not gone there.’
During the same visit, the MSU delegation signed another Memorandum of Understanding with the Ben-Gurion University in Southern Israel. Two Professors visited MSU on a fact finding mission in March last year to establish how the cooperation can be implemented. Under the Memorandum of Understanding, the two institutions will run short courses, introduce joint supervision of PhD and other postgraduate students, initiate joint grant applications as well as students exchange programmes.