New R70m ‘Manufacturing Ambassador’ scholarship

09 October 2019 | Web Article Number: ME201916614

Education & Training
New R70m ‘Manufacturing Ambassador’ scholarship
Professor Justin Barnes, Executive Director of TWIMS

THE Toyota Wessels Institute for Manufacturing Studies (TWIMS) has received a R70-million endowment from the Toyota SA Educational Trust to create a Manufacturing Ambassador Scholarship to fund promising students who want to complete a manufacturing-focused MBA.

The endowment will allow TWIMS to fund up to 90% of the total cost of a student’s studies, their boarding on campus during class and exams and their travel and expenses for the international learning module. In total, the value to each student is R450 000 over two years, leaving R50 000 for each student or their employer to pay.

“With the endowment from the Toyota SA Educational Trust we can welcome more deserving students onto our programme and help deepen the appreciation for and understanding of manufacturing in South Africa,” said Professor Justin Barnes, Executive Director of TWIMS.

The endowment is one of the largest of its kind in South Africa and follows a previous endowment of R56 million, which helped to create the TWIMS Campus and fund the purchase of high-tech teaching equipment.

Despite the seed funding and new endowment, TWIMS is independent from Toyota SA Motors and is incorporated as a not-for-profit organisation with academic affiliation to the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) in Gauteng.

“As Toyota we are deeply committed to South Africa and its future economic growth. We believe that manufacturing and industrialisation are paramount to long-term growth and job creation,” said Dr Johan van Zyl, chair of TWIMS and CEO of Toyota Europe.

“We hope to stimulate this sector with our contribution to TWIMS and its goal of creating an industrial Africa, built on world-class manufacturing capabilities.”

Using the funds donated by the Trust, TWIMS will recruit up to 10 students annually to study towards their GIBS Masters of Business Administration (MBA) with a specialisation in manufacturing.

The programme for the sponsorship of deserving students will be called the Ambassador Scholarship and it will require recipients to actively champion the cause of manufacturing in South Africa, both during and after they have completed their studies.

To qualify for the grant, a student must successfully pass the strict entrance criteria set by TWIMS and its academic partner, GIBS. Aside from submitting their curriculum vitae, a motivation for participating in the MBA and passing all entrance exams, the applicants must also write an essay on manufacturing in South Africa and their vision for the sector.

“We are proud of our association with TWIMS and excited about the future contribution of our manufacturing-focused graduates. The large endowment by the Toyota SA Educational Trust will play a major role in growing the impact of this qualification and no doubt help us to stimulate and grow the manufacturing sector,” said Professor Nicola Kleyn, Dean of GIBS.

The GIBS MBA with manufacturing focus, as taught at TWIMS, includes all core GIBS MBA modules and a selection of at least five specialised manufacturing electives. These include subjects such as lean manufacturing, the green economy, African trade and industrialisation and Industry 4.0. Students will also join an international manufacturing-focused study trip to one of several countries, chosen to showcase a specific aspect of industrialisation and manufacturing. These include Japan, Turkey and Kenya.

TWIMS was established in 2018 and welcomed its first cohort of students in 2019. It will produce its first graduates in 2020, the same year it will welcome the first of the Manufacturing Ambassadors.

Andrew Kirby, CEO of Toyota SA Motors said: “Industrialisation is a primary driver for economic growth. This endowment from the Toyota SA Educational Trust will help to facilitate a deeper integration between the science of manufacturing and management science in general.”

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