Municipal Institute Of LearningMILE - Municipal Institute Of Learning
City-University partnership brought to life in Durban

​Over 350 academics, officials and students converged at the University of KwaZulu-Natal Unite Building yesterday, to attend an event that has made history in the City, MILE’s eThekwini-University Research Symposium.

Dubbed as the biggest research events hosted by eThekwini Municipality in partnership with Durban tertiary institutions: the Durban University of Technology (DUT), Mangosuthu University of Technology (MUT) and the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), the symposium was based on research papers which focused on seven key themes which contributed to the overarching theme of “enhancing the quality of our living environments”.

These include development within the Built Environment, Localising Economic Development and Job Creation, Climate Protection and Energy efficiency, Fostering Governance and Local Government Responsiveness, Health, Enhancing Social Equity, Safety and Security.

During the plenary session vital feedback and lessons learnt from the breakaways sessions one and two were given the spotlight. Some of the highlighted issues were: the need for more joint research initiatives between academics and officials, hosting communities of practice for city officials and academics the engage further and the need for preserving institutional memory in terms of documenting the papers and presentations.

With forty four research papers presented by high profile academics and officials this event provided the ideal platform for networking whilst tackling research outputs which are relevant the local government.
Students that attended were amazed with the networking opportunities and research findings that the event unveiled.

Mnyandu  Kholiwe a DUT Bachelor of Education student thoroughly enjoyed the event. 

She said, “The research symposium was extremely beneficial and I have gained and learnt from the presentations that I have attended. I especially enjoyed the presentations on health and the effects of obesity.”

Student, Kanyisa (Clive) Buxela who was assisting UKZN Dr Fayth Ruffin at the symposium found the event to be useful tool that will add solutions to the existing problems we are faced with on a daily basis. “Dr Jennifer Houghton presentation on Development in Context was very interesting. She spoke about building partnerships beyond the just municipality and university but building relationships with the citizens as well,” said the enthusiastic Kanyisa.

The eThekwini-University Research Symposium has strengthened the city- university partnership and has sparked exciting ideas for future learning activities of this calibre.

The research papers, lessons learnt and highlights from the event will be documented in an upcoming consolidated research publication.

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