UCT join forces with SAAO

13 August 2007

UCT and the South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO) have signed a memorandum of understanding to formalise their decades-old relationship.

The agreement, signed on 7 August, formalises the relationship between the two institutions, The SAAO infrastructure has long been available to UCT staff and students of the Department of Astronomy and staff of the national observatory have lectured and supervised UCT students.

Professor Cheryl de la Rey, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, said it took months for the two parties to reach the point of signing the agreement because they wanted to ensure that clear objectives were identified and that the agreement will have a meaningful outcome.

“Through this agreement we are building on our very long history of collaboration to reap new benefits. We are looking forward to increasing our capacity to train a greater number students in astronomy and to increasing the overall research productivity in astronomy research,” she said.

Professor Phil Charles, director of the SAAO, said the agreement was a confirmation of a strong and productive relationship which will further contribute to realising the objectives of the national focus on astronomy as a strategic scientific area for South Africa.

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