Since its establishment in 2016 under the leadership of Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Zodwa Dlamini, the MUT Research, Innovation and Engagements (RIE) Week has grown remarkably. This year it attracted the attention of the media which covered a pre-event launch, event activities and post-event activities. Although RIE Week took place from 10-14 July, coverage began as early as 6 July and the reputation of MUT rose significantly. All this was the result of a sustained effort to craft a professional relationship with the fourth estate.
Encouraging headlines appeared via the media, whether over the air, in print or online. “Mangosuthu University making strides in promoting research” was the headline on SABC News on 6 July 2017, while the Sunday Independent (Second Edition) on 16 July proclaimed, “Professor takes Science to people to change their lives for the better”. The New Age ran an article titled “MUT focused on health” on 20 July. The coverage resulted in over R2.5 million in advertising value equivalence (AVEs) and this is still growing. This coverage was also thanks to the excellent contributions to the 6 July media briefing by Xolile Ngubane, Manager of the MUT Technology Station in Chemicals, and Prof Karabo Shale, Natural Sciences Research Professor and acting Research Director. The RIE Week 2017 was also well-projected on all forms of social media, including a new Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/MUTResearch/
A major highlight of RIE Week was the signing of MOUs on 14 July 2017 with six institutions from Brazil, India and the United States. This was a very strong indication of MUT’s desire to partner with international universities in a quest to be a pre-eminent university.