Sandra Jacobs, Media and Marketing Manager Innibos with Dr Paul Maminza, the UMP’s Dean of Students.

The University of Mpumalanga partners with Innibos

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The University of Mpumalanga (UMP) is a fast-growing institution and, on the brink of its 10th birthday, decided to partner with the Innibos National Arts Festival. This festival is hosted annually in Mbombela and attracts thousands of visitors from across the country.

In an interview with the Dean of Students, Dr Paul Maminza, he explained the reasoning behind this decision: “Our University is a young institution, and, as it is with growing children, there comes a time when they are ready to have like-minded friends. We wanted to expand our network of partners and Innibos is a good partner to have.”

The university’s motto is: Creating opportunities, and this is one of the many things Innibos contributes towards the area. The exposure to the arts, inclusivity of different cultures, and economic boost to the area, are of immense value to local communities.

UMP is an engaged institution and places great value on partnerships and networks contributing to the creation of opportunities for sustainable development through innovation. In response to this statement, Dr Maminza said: “We pride ourselves on fostering strong, vibrant, mutually beneficial partnerships with strategic stakeholders, such as Innibos.”

UMP follows a holistic approach in offering more than just academic qualifications, where students are encouraged to take part in extramural activities, sport and recreation, with a vibrant student life tangible on setting foot on the beautiful campus.

The Tfokomala Hotel and Conference Centre is a university-owned facility, which prides itself on a 4-star graded, 25-bed hotel run by the university as a commercial hotel and thus providing hospitality management students with practical training and insight into the hospitality industry in the province and country.

At the beginning of 2014, UMP had 169 students enrolled in three different programmes offered at the time. To date, the number of students has increased to just shy of 8 300 in numerous programmes in three faculties, namely the Faculty of Agriculture and Natural Sciences, the Faculty of Education and the Faculty of Economics, Development and Business Sciences.

The University of Mpumalanga Centre for Entrepreneurship Rapid Incubator, based at the Mbombela Campus, aims to develop emerging entrepreneurs in Mpumalanga and beyond to reduce the prevalent unemployment levels through entrepreneurial skills development and commercialisation of small businesses.

Innibos is providing a platform for these entrepreneurs to introduce and showcase their ideas, to be exposed to other ideas and introduced to like-minded entrepreneurs, whilst UMP educates, empowers and supports students in the development of their business ideas and ventures. This is the beauty of local institutions joining hands with a common goal in mind.