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Relations between NMMU and the Universite Angers (UA) in France have received a welcome boost, thanks to the NMMU George Campus Principal, Prof Quinton Johnson.

With more than 23 years’ university experience in teaching, research and administration under the belt, Prof Johnson, who has a special interest in the biomedical sciences, was invited to teach and share his expertise as Visiting Professor at UA. This institution of higher learning, situated in the town of the same name, dates back to 1356. Steeped in history and tradition, it was closed down in 1793 and re-established in 1971, from where it established itself as leaders in certain areas of medical technology.

One of the aims of the visit was to help unlock mutual exchange opportunities for staff and students of NMMU and UA. “At UA, I taught the pharmacy, science and medical students about the safety, quality and efficacy of plant medicines for human health. I also advised several PhD and Masters research students about optimizing their experimental protocols for maximum success in minimum time. In addition, we conducted some high-end analyses of a South African phytomedicine product to further determine its smart molecular therapeutic structures. I also provided lectures on sustainable futures,” said Prof Johnson.

It is likely that the visit will give rise to a MoU that will allow student and staff exchange across all disciplines. “We have already secured some funding to send one of our NMMU (George Campus) Master’s degree students to UA, and perhaps one staff member during 2014/2015, with hopefully more to follow in both directions into the future,” Prof Johnson confirmed.

Furthermore, the “French connection”, was also extended to include sport, with Prof Johnson also optimising the opportunity to meet with French counterparts to establish links between our respective Rugby Academies.

NMMU and the Universite Angers (UA)

Distinguished Prof Pascal Richomme (The silver-haired host) with Prof Johnson (right) and some of the postgraduate students who attended his lectures.

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Ms Alet van Tonder
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