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Stanbic facilitates Zim, China universities MoU


Stanbic Bank has facilitated a trail-blazing, mutually beneficial and cooperative relationship between two top Zimbabwean and Chinese universities as the leading financial services institution lives up to its commitment to drive Zimbabwe and Africa’s growth.

The Standard Bank subsidiary played a pivotal role in orchestrating the introductions between the two universities which culminated in the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). The five-year tenure MoU between the University of Zimbabwe
Faculty of Medicine and Health  Services (UZ-FMHS) and leading Chinese University, Zhenjiang University- International School of Medicine (ZJU-ISM) is aimed at fostering scholarly activities and international collaboration.

The non-binding MoU is set to establish a framework through which the two educational institutions can establish and develop a cooperative relationship in pursuit of a number of objectives which include mobility of faculty and/or staff; mobility of graduate and/or undergraduate students and joint research activities and publications.

The objectives also include participating in seminars and academic meetings; exchange academic materials and other information and establish short-term academic programs.

Speaking at the signing of the MoU, Stanbic Bank Head Business and Commercial Banking, Patson Mahatchi said the leading financial institution was pleased to continue contributing significantly towards driving Africa and in particular Zimbabwe’s growth across all sectors.

Mahatchi said the partnership between UZ and ZJU-ISM was beneficial especially regarding capacity building and would contribute significantly towards achieving Education 5.0 goals for  UZ.

“One of our strengths as a financial services institution is our dedicated offering to the education sector, on the back of unparalleled experience in banking solutions in general,” Mahatchi said. 
The UZ-FMHS is an integral link to both the education and health sectors as it is a leading medical training institution in the country. 
Additionally, the role of academia in the health sector cannot be downplayed as the medical fraternity is underpinned by continuous research.

ZJU-ISM is rated 42 on the QS world rankings and is in China’s top three. 
They operate 37 colleges across seven campuses. 
They also operate a Class A rated hospital with a 1 200-bed capacity and perform approximately 30 000 surgeries annually. 
The partnership with UZ will result in capacity building for UZ-FMHS strategic projects such as the construction of a state of the art medical specialists centre and quinary hospital. 
This is in line with international best practices whereby medical training universities also operate hospitals with the aim of increasing teaching and research opportunities for the students whilst improving access to and lowering medical costs for the communities in which they operate.

“Our quest to foster mutually beneficial relationships with Africa is premised on our commitment to ensure that the continent is the future and we want to grow with it,”  Guomao Director for Africa, Chaofeng Deng said.

ZJU-ISM Director for International Affairs Xing Chen said the MOU would see the leading Chinese educational institution offering medicine and healthcare systematic solutions.

“We are committed to pursuing excellence in clinical research and care and particularly contribute in building Africa’s own capacity,”  Xing said. 
Guomao is a Chinese supply chain management company and Stanbic’s partner for the Africa China Trade Solution. 
The entity also played a key role in the match making of the two universities.

She said ZJU-ISM, which opened its doors in 2014 but was built on Zhejiang University’s 100- year history, has aimed high since inception.

ZJU-ISM’s medicine is listed as a national First-Class discipline, a situation which augurs well for the successful implementation and execution of the objectives of the MoU.

University of Zimbabwe Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Services (FMHS),  Fiona Makoni said the MOU gives both institutions opportunities for knowledge exchange through student and staff exchange, research collaborations, and tapping from the experience of the colleagues from Zhejiang in setting up and operating hospitals that service medical schools.

Makoni said this is in line with the UZ strategic objective three, which seeks to develop partnerships to leverage knowledge-sharing, resource mobilisation and investments for the advancement of innovative research, outreach, teaching and business development.

She paid tribute to Stanbic bank for approaching the faculty through the faculty research management centre to introduce Zhejiang University.

The introduction of Zhejiang University to the UZFMHS culminated in the opening of  communication between the two educational institutions through online meetings leading to the visit by the delegation from Zhejiang that culminated in the signing of MOU.

“We are grateful to Stanbic for introducing us and being involved in ensuring that the visit takes place and being present in the meetings to demonstrate their support. We look forward to the bank’s support during the tenure of this MOU as we meet our strategic objectives of partnerships as well as internationalisation of our programmes,”Makoni said.

She said the MOU is a great opportunity to demonstrate the implementation of public/private partnerships as the University of Zimbabwe, through the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, responds to the needs of the Zimbabwean population in the training of health professionals.

Makoni said the MOU will be instrumental in facilitating research collaborations and post-graduate medical training as well as opportunities for electives for students.

“The faculty has a wealth of research experience in wide areas of health including HIV, Cancers and other non-communicable diseases and this will be useful in the collaborations,” Makoni said.

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