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Renewed partnership between UKZN and Jiangsu Academy of Agricultural Sciences



Renewed partnership between UKZN and Jiangsu Academy of Agricultural Sciences

Renewed partnership between UKZN and Jiangsu Academy of Agricultural Sciences. A historic research partnership between UKZN School of Life Sciences and China Jiangsu Academy of Agricultural Sciences (JAAS), which commenced in 2013, has been renewed, marking a significant milestone in collaborative efforts in agricultural and life sciences.

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Renewal and Reinforcement

Delegates from JAAS visited UKZN Westville campus on 24 January to reaffirm the existing Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and explore avenues for future cooperation. The visit, aimed at fostering mutual understanding, discussing potential research collaboration, and formalizing agreements, was met with enthusiasm from both parties.

Fruitful Discussions and Formalization

The comprehensive program included introductions between JAAS delegates and UKZN faculty members. Professor Ademola Olaniran, Dean and Head of the School of Life Sciences, provided insights into the history of the partnership, emphasizing past successful collaborative activities.

Professor Fhatuwani Mudau, Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College of Agriculture, Engineering, and Science, extended an official welcome, underlining the value of the partnership. Professor Wang Ran, Vice President of JAAS, echoed this sentiment, emphasizing the collaborative achievements to date.

Impacts and Insights

Dr. Thandeka Khoza, a UKZN lecturer in Biochemistry who previously spent time at JAAS, shared insights into the partnership’s impact on academic research, highlighting benefits for researchers at both institutions.

Formal Commitment

The renewed 2024 MoU was signed by Ms. Normah Zondo, Executive Director of Corporate Relations at UKZN, and Vice President Wang Ran, formalizing continued commitment to collaborative activities.

Building on History

This visit builds upon a rich history of collaboration initiated in 2013, with subsequent reciprocal visits and the signing of the MoU in 2014. Since then, joint PhD supervision, collaborative research projects, and annual meetings have demonstrated the commitment of both institutions to the partnership.

Tangible Outcomes and Future Prospects

Tangible outcomes include the graduation of PhD students, appointment of adjunct and honorary professors, and participation in joint international grant applications. Discussions during the visit focused on joint PhD programs, student and staff exchange opportunities, and identified priority research areas such as environmental biotechnology, bioenergy, vaccine development, Artificial Intelligence, smart technology, and food security.

Closing Remarks

Professor Neil Koorbanally, Dean of Research in the College, emphasized the importance of international collaboration in addressing global research challenges.


The visit by JAAS to the UKZN School of Life Sciences underscores the commitment of both institutions to advance agricultural and life science research. The renewal of this historic partnership reaffirms the value of international cooperation in driving innovation and finding solutions to complex research issues.

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