NUL Acting Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Kananelo Mosito says when a corporate company sponsors a University Professorial Research Chair, this enables a University to attract competent local and international staff and scholars to come join the university in a particular area of interest (through academic programmes, training workshops and seminars), increasing research output and subsequently elevating the international ranking and recognition of the institution.
By sponsoring a University Professorial Research Chair through funding gives NUL an opportunity to improve scholarship in a particular area of interest (through academic programmes, training workshops and seminars) and increase the University’s research output for the benefit of the country, the region and the world as a whole.
Prof. Mosito was speaking at the recent launch of the NUL-Metropolitan Professorial Research Chair in Pension Law Studies held at the Roma campus. The Research Chair is Prof. Mtendeweka Mhango, who is also Dean of the Faculty of Law at the National University of Lesotho.
The Research Chair was established in November 2020 as a partnership between the National University of Lesotho and the Metropolitan Lesotho with the aim of promoting scholarship that is relevant to the pensions and insurance industry in Lesotho; offering professional development programmes and qualifications for the pension funds industry and; organising annual lectures or seminars to debate issues affecting the pension and insurance industry.
Prof. Mosito emphasised that one of the important functions of the University is to educate and broaden the horizons of those who come into contact with the institution. He therefore urged other corporates to follow Metropolitan Lesotho’s example.
“Nurturing minds and imparting knowledge is a massive assignment given to a university and unfortunately it cannot afford to execute such a task, alone. Strong partnerships and collaborations with corporates such as Metropolitan have always helped NUL execute its mandate. Metropolitan Lesotho has been our Number 1 partner in many research assignments including the establishment of the Sebabatso Yoghurt and the NUL Innovation Hub”, he added.
Speaking at the same occasion, the Acting Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Beatrice Ekanjume-Ilongo laid out the functions of a Research Chair, which include ensuring that the research output of the university is made visible and the knowledge of the research will definitely be used to help the nation. Research Chair gives the university an opportunity to improve and increase the university’s research output and the country’s output as a whole, not just NUL’s.
She indicated that with the existence of NUL-Metropolitan Professorial Research Chair, Lesotho will be able to compete with other countries in matters of innovation and research.
“Through this Research Chair, we are going to advance scholarships in areas of Pensions Law which is relevant to our nation. The Research Chair is also going to develop more research programmes and short learning courses used to help people improve their skills to equip themselves with knowledge regarding Pensions Law. These will be done through workshops and seminars”, she added.
The Faculty of Law has already developed an executive programme titled Certificate in Pensions Law Studies. The programme is currently with the Council on Higher Education (CHE) for accreditation and once approved, the programme is going to be offered. The University is hoping and promising the nation more programmes pertaining Pensions Law.
The Managing Director of Metropolitan Lesotho, Ms. Mamello Phomane reiterated that the Research Chair is going to be beneficial to them in the pensions and insurance industry since, for the longest time, Metropolitan has been outsourcing retirement funds qualifications in South Africa at a great cost.
“This Research Chair will produce world-class qualifications that will be consumed by the nation and also facilitate dialogues that will help the industry grow. As Metropolitan Lesotho, we are happy to contribute into this Research Chair and the results that will come out of its work, I believe they will deliver intended results and they will be making us prouder, when we see them”, Ms. Phomane added.
The launch has been followed by series of round-table discussions/dialogues called “In Conversation with the Pension Funds Industry” . The theme of the inaugural event was: The Pension Funds Act 5 of 2019: A Paradigm Shift in Lesotho?