Monash South Africa (MSA) attests to being a World Class campus of higher learning, and continued to showcase its international relevance on April 11, 2017 when the campus hosted the former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Tony Blair, in Ruimsig, Johannesburg to speak to students, faculty, and stakeholders about internationalisation and Africa. Mr. Blair also joined a panel of local experts and leaders to discuss issues affecting African development.
In his remarks, the former Prime Minister emphasized that governance is the key issue facing African countries. “If countries are well governed, they will succeed; but if they are poorly governed, they will fail,” he said. He added that governance must be supported by infrastructure that supports connectivity, a business environment that instils confidence amongst investors, and systems that protect ordinary citizens, including security, healthcare, and education. “Our institutions must focus on creativity rather than rote learning,” he commented. Blair further noted that if a country has even one effective university, it may stand as an example to others and encourage better education.
Other esteemed panellists who joined the discussion on the topic included Professor Olive Shisana, president and CEO, Evidence Based Solutions and member of the MSA Advisory Board, Professor Narend Baijnath, CEO, Council on Higher Education, as well as Ogi Williams, senior research analyst, In On Africa, and Tafadzwa Mandinyenya, SADC Youth Network.
The topic of the discussion was highly relevant and ensured a robust discussion regarding the need for an Afro-centric education, while maintaining a globally relevant perspective and the ability for students to work cross-culturally and across the globe. MSA is well known for its diverse student body, with over 60 different nationalities represented on the campus, presenting a diverse array of international perspectives in lectures, tutorials, and discussions.
Sharad Mehra, CEO of MSA, expressed his gratitude to the former prime minister for his attendance and continued interest in African development. “Our campus prides itself on providing internationally relevant degrees, while ensuring an education sensitive to African needs and challenges. Hosting a speaker of such prestige on our campus is a remarkable honor and reinforces our commitment to a truly global education for all our students. We are so very grateful to Mr. Blair for participating in this incredible event and visiting our campus.”
The MSA campus ensures international opportunities by assisting students to participate in their Study Abroad programme, thus allowing students to broaden their horizons and gain a global perspective. Added to its commitment to internationality, MSA also strives to provide a memorable student experience and to ultimately ensure the employability of its graduates in whichever field they choose to work.
Mr. Blair’s visit to MSA was one of many to Laureate network institutions. The other Laureate universities he has visited include INTI in Malaysia, and Laureate campuses in São Paulo, Brazil; in Lima, Peru; Germany; Spain; Turkey; Mexico; and Brazil.