Vanderbilt and UCT to boost South African black space scientists

19 March 2007

Vice-Chancellor and Principal Prof Njabulo S Ndebele (right) with Chancellor Gordon Gee of Vanderbilt University.

Executives from Vanderbilt University and UCT met on 5 March to discuss ways to recruit and train more black astronomers in South Africa.

As with African-Americans in the United States, Africans are under-represented in the physical sciences, particularly in astronomy and space science, says Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Professor Njabulo S Ndebele.

Vanderbilt, based in Nashville in the US, and UCT will be partners in research and education initiatives benefiting students, faculty and staff at both universities. The universities plan for this new partnership to extend beyond the typical student exchange programmes to include opportunities for collaborative research and study across several disciplines.

"The University of Cape Town is a great intellectual, cultural and scientific centre for the entire African continent," said Vanderbilt's Chancellor, Gordon Gee. "Vanderbilt's partnership with UCT will create enhanced opportunities for our respective students and faculty, as well as grow the global network of researchers in several important disciplines."

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