Kenyans to partner with NWU’s BMI Centre
The NWU’s expertise with digits, data and analytics adds up to exciting new opportunities. The university received a visit from a high-level delegation from the Kenya School of Monetary Studies (KSMS) on 27 and 28 January.
The delegation was headed by Prof Kinandu Muragu, executive director of KSMS. The visitors met with, among others, Prof Dan Kgwadi, vice-chancellor of the NWU, and Prof Herman van Schalkwyk, vice-principal of the NWU and rector of the Potchefstroom Campus.
Prof Riaan de Jongh, director of the Centre for Business Mathematics and Informatics (BMI), says the objective of the visit was to negotiate a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for collaboration in teaching and research.
“More specifically, KSMS is interested in presenting, in collaboration with the Centre for BMI, an MSc BMI Business Analytics and Data Science specialisation in Kenya.”
He says the NWU was the first university to present this degree locally. “We received a R2,5 million grant in 2011 from SAS* to establish an SAS Advanced Analytics Lab at the Centre for BMI.
“SAS, as well as local banks, is very optimistic about this relationship, which could contribute towards alleviating a critical skill shortage in Africa,” he says.
“As a first step, instructors of KSMS will be trained by the Centre for BMI, after which the delivery mode will be designed either on a contact or distance learning basis. Students who enrol at KSMS for this degree will obtain a fully fledged NWU degree.”
Prof Muragu says they chose the NWU because of the university’s demonstrated leadership in the area of business analytics and data science. The university’s close involvement in the industry, especially SAS and Barclays Africa, also played an important role in choosing the NWU.
“We are very excited about this development because it can lead to other opportunities. It is a significant step towards the internationalisation of the BMI course,” says Riaan.
“We are positive about the opportunities that the distance learning option could open up for the NWU in South Africa as well,” says Prof Machiel Kruger, head of the SAS Advanced Analytics Lab.
Both Riaan and Machiel have been invited to the SAS Summit on Advanced Analytics in Cary, North Carolina in the United States, where they will contribute as invited speakers and in panel discussions on this topic.
* SAS is the leader in business analytics software and services, and the largest independent vendor in this market in the world. SAS's headquarters are situated at Cary, North Carolina and the SAS software is used on more than 75 000 sites worldwide.
Prof Kinandu Muragu, executive director of KSMS presents a special gift, Kenyan tea, to Prof Dan Kgwadi, vice-chancellor of the NWU.
The Kenya School of Monetary Studies (KSMS) held meetings with the NWU to negotiate a Memorandum of Understanding. Here, from left, are Mr Murray de Villiers, Statistical Analysis System Institute’s (SAS) general manager of Corporate Affairs, Prof Kinandu Muragu, executive director of KSMS, Prof Herman van Schalkwyk, vice-principal of the NWU and rector of the Potchefstroom Campus, and Prof Riaan de Jongh, director of the Centre for Business Mathematics and Informatics (BMI).