South African Guest Professor Lectures at the School of Engineering

What do you think about your student group?

“I find the students in my second year operations research class very bright and keen to learn. The class has a truly cosmopolitan composition - there are students from South America, the Middle East, the Far East, Africa, North America and, of course, from Europe. This makes for quite interesting class discussions and very different perspectives on things".

What is your impression of the University of Borås and about the School of Engineering?

“Phrases that come to mind when I think of the University of Boras, include "modern approach to education", "hands-on liaison with industry in both teaching and research activities" and "quest for excellence”. 

“What has impressed me is the university's approach towards pursuing excellence by preferring to do things differently, rather than to do things in the traditional way as universities normally do, having then to do the normal things better. The University of Boras is very pragmatic. It has rather cleverly embarked on a very different approach towards establishing a niche of excellence for itself, namely to complement the traditional universities by doing things that these universities do not do well (or even at all!), and in this way establishing a truly unique position for itself. 

One example is the very close collaboration that the University of Boras achieves with both small and large businesses in the local industry when it comes to postgraduate research topics. In the School of Engineering these are chosen in conjunction with the managements of such companies, and are then supervised by university staff members, but pursued by graduate students in an almost internship manner, very often on site in industry”.

During the autumn semester two more guest lecturers from Stellenbosch will visit Borås and lecture for the student group and Professor Jan van Vuuren will do one more session here.

Cooperation since three years

The cooperation with the Stellenbosch University in South Africa started already three years ago when one of the teachers at the School of Engineering, Mr. Jonas Stray, started his research there on the topic in decision support for sugarcane harvest scheduling under the supervision of Professor Jan Van Vuuren.

Professor Jan Van Vuuren believes in a continuous collaboration between the Stellenbosch University and the University of Borås.

"I also hope that other initiatives might be born out of the current collaboration effort, such as e.g. initiating a graduate exchange student agreement and/or an initiative that enables students of the University of Boras to do their thesis work in collaboration with South African companies, etc", says Professor Jan Van Vuuren.