South African universities partner with Ryerson zone learning centres

Ryerson president Sheldon Levy with Adam Habib, principal professor at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg last week. (Courtesy Digitmal Media Zone)

Ryerson president Sheldon Levy with Adam Habib, principal professor at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg last week. (Courtesy Digital Media Zone)

Ryerson is partnering with top universities in South Africa to create eight fellowships that will help student entrepreneurs develop their businesses.

As part of the fellowships, South African students will receive transportation, accommodation and a three- to four-month placement in one of the four incubators at Ryerson. The initial cost of flights, health insurance and various pre-departure needs total $2,000 with an extra cost of $2,000 a month for each student’s living expenses.

During a trip to South Africa last week, Ryerson president Sheldon Levy visited the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. He met with the vice-chancellor and principal professor Adam Habib to discuss the fellowship.

“These fellowships play an important role in continuing to build Ryerson as a global hub for innovation and entrepreneurship,” Levy, still travelling, said in an email. “Working alongside peers from other countries and other cultures provides students with an international perspective, expands their networks, and enhances personal development.”

Ryerson currently has four zone learning centres, most recognizably, the Digital Media Zone. Student entrepreneurs can also pitch their business strategies to one of the other zones: the Centre for Urban Energy, the Fashion Zone and the Design Fabrication Zone.

These incubators provide students with mentorship from professionals partnered with the university to work closely with the students developing their ideas.

“Each university in South Africa reciprocated with opportunities for our students. Building ties with great universities around the world provides ongoing opportunities for student exchanges as well as building co-operative research opportunities,” Levy said.

The university has already worked with students from universities in Israel, China and India.

This story was first published in The Ryersonian, a weekly newspaper produced by the Ryerson School of Journalism, on February 26, 2014.

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