Divinia Jithoo, Durban University of Technology.

On the 16th of February 2021, DUT was presented with the 2021 Global award for innovation and excellence in Internationalisation at the Association of International Education Administrators (AIEA) annual conference in a virtual ceremony. DUT is also the first institution outside of the USA and Europe to win this award. The AIEA is a member organisation that equips leaders to shape the future of higher education in a global context. The AIEA advances strategic transformational approaches to Internationalisation of higher education; empowers those who lead such efforts; convenes global conversations on key issues; and partners with other organisations around the world to develop sustainable, forward looking perspectives.

The AIEA has recognised DUT for its participation in the COIL project in South Africa as the first and currently only country in Africa to do so. The association has said that it applauds DUT’s leadership in Africa in the integration of the COIL programme into DUT’s academic endeavours.

DUT’s International Education and Partnerships Director, Dr Lavern Samuels said that DUT scooped this award due to its innovation in Internationalisation by using Virtual Engagement (VE) and doing things differently. He said DUT has taken Internationalisation beyond academic mobility through internationalising the curriculum through VE and COIL so that the benefit is felt across the university. “It is a unique honour for us to receive this award, particularly with it not being awarded to any other South African university before. It allows us to take our place in international education as a university of excellence and that makes us really proud. It follows up on many other accolades for the university, particularly the rankings that we achieved in 2020. It builds the reputation of the university and that means a lot for us to be recognised as a university of excellence,” said Dr Samuels