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Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University and Anhui Medical University, China, sign a letter of intent

The SMU Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Peter Mbati, on the 25 May 2023, hosted representatives from the Anhui Medical University, China, at SMU, where a Letter of Intent was signed between the two institutions. This was meant to explore the possibilities for collaboration and cooperative projects between the two institutions.

Anhui Medical University (AHMU) is one of the earliest institutions of higher education and the first medical university in the Anhui province, China. The University was founded in Shanghai in 1926 as the Southeast Medical University. In 1952, it moved to Hefei and changed its name to Anhui Medical College. It is considered to be a pioneer, incubator and pacesetter of higher medical education and health care in the Anhui province.

AHMU has established extensive cooperation and exchanges with universities in 16 countries and regions across the world. These involve exchange of experts, scholars, students, knowledge and scientific research. Anhui’s engagement with SMU is part of their collaborative efforts which perfectly aligns with the SMUs strategic intent on internationalisation.

In his address, the Education Counselor, Mr. Xudong LI, from the People’s Republic of China South African Embassy indicated that 2023 marks the 25th anniversary of the South Africa-China bilateral relations, cemented by the fact that both countries are partners within BRICS. In this context, this engagement is seen as another way through which the relationship between the two countries could be cemented.

Prof. Gu Jiashan, Chair of the University Council and current University President, further indicated that AHMU has produced world renown health practitioners, has expertise which could of immense benefit to the collaboration, indicating that the opportunities which have become available must be fully explored.

In acknowledging the number of international students at AHMU, Prof Huang Huaxing, AHMU’s Chair of the Council of School of International Education, indicated that the University organizes festivals and cultural events for international students, which exposes Chinese students to other international cultures and vice versa.

In his address, the SMU Vice Chancellor, Prof. Peter Mbati indicated that SMU is the only dedicated health sciences education institution in Southern Africa and has ramped up its research efforts which are driven through the following research units and centres: the Diarrhoeal Pathogens Research Unit, South African Vaccination and Immunisation Centre (SAVIC), MeCRU Clinical Research Unit (MeCRU), HPV and STIs Training Centre for Africa, SMU Minimal Invasive Surgery Unit, HIV-1 Resistance and Molecular Lab, Electron Microscope Unit, and the Centre for Entrepreneurship Rapid Incuba_on (CfERI).

In charting the way forward, both institutions expressed appreciation of the fact that they are both unique health sciences institutions with the potential to increase their influence in the health education space internationally.

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