Embury Institute for Higher Education, a private tertiary education provider wholly owned by Stadio Holdings, has announced its global partnership with Swiss-based ethics network, Globethics.net, a worldwide ethics network concerned with empowering global citizens to reflect and act on ethical issues. The partnership agreement takes effect from 1 June 2017 for a period of four years.
The two institutions signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in Durbanville, Cape Town late last week. The collaboration will see the institutions co-operating to develop a body of knowledge and research set to promote ethics in higher education and will work towards finding solutions to ethical challenges in Africa (and globally), with a specific focus on education.
Embury joins the BEN-Africa Network housed at the University of Stellenbosch and UNISA as the only three local higher education institutions to sign such a partnership with Globethics.net.
The collaboration also marks a significant development for the education industry as a whole. Stadio Holdings’ CEO, Johan Human, states, “Global developments are increasingly showing the importance of ethics in all levels of society. Being able to collaborate with an internationally renowned body such as this makes it possible for Embury to bring a clear ethical focus to an area where we can make a difference – education.”
The CEO of Globethics.net, Prof Obiora Ike, present at the occasion to sign the memorandum, believes establishing a strong network of partners is key in the network’s quest for better ethical standards. “Having an independent tertiary institution such as Embury on-board reinforces Globethics.net’s core. I am looking forward to its contribution, specifically in the field of education in the African context, to strengthen a much-needed worldwide drive for clearer ethics.”
Embedding ethics in teaching practice
By agreeing to the partnership, Embury will be gearing up towards a collaborative African research project on embedding values and ethics in the teaching practice curriculum. The focus of the research will be twofold: To train teachers to teach through the filter of values and ethics and to begin to foster an understanding amongst students of African values and ethics. This is integral to the institution’s teaching and learning programmes and social and cultural frames of reference. There is a depth of African knowledge systems and the time is ripe for the African agenda to become foregrounded and integrated in curricula and teachings.
“The time is singularly opportune for the values and ethics conversation in Africa and South Africa particularly, especially with the focus on Africanisation, development, and the Sustainable Development Goals,” highlights Divya Singh, chief academic and compliance officer at Stadio Holdings. “We need to leverage off all opportunities to embed the message of ethical empowerment. The tertiary education space is wide open and thirsty for this engagement. This collaboration is crucially aligned to Embury and its holding company’s mission: to increase access to higher education and develop the most sought-after graduates by ensuring that graduates are equipped with ethics, values and other critical 21st century skills.”
The MOU also provides Embury staff and students with full access to the digital Globethics.net Library, a valuable academic resource that contains over five million ethics-related full-text research documents. Additionally, students and staff will be encouraged to become part of the global network and conversation on ethics and values, learning and sharing knowledge and best practices.