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On 4 November 2014, ITM Director Prof. Bruno Gryseels and the vice-chancellor of the University of Pretoria Prof. Cheryl de la Rey signed a memorandum of understanding between the two institutions in the presence of the Belgian ambassador to South Africa, Hubert Cooreman. ITM’s Department of Biomedical Science and the Faculty of Veterinary Science of the University of Pretoria will run a first-of-its-kind international collaborative Master’s of Science programme in tropical animal health, starting in January 2016.

ITM and the Department of Veterinary Tropical Diseases of its South African partner have been collaborating since 2002. Over the years, collaborative efforts have led to exceptional research and training, as well as capacity building. The two institutions have established a sound relationship and decided to capitalise on each other’s academic expertise by sharing teaching and training resources for this master’s degree.

A unique joint Master’s programme in tropical animal health between Antwerp and Pretoria kicks-off in January 2016

With both institutions’ increasing focus on the One Health approach, the overall objective of the degree is to concentrate on the relationship between infectious and parasitic diseases in animals and humans (zoonoses), as well as between diseases and the health of the ecosystem in order to improve disease control strategies, the sustainability of ecosystems, food security and rural development.

The unique programme is geared towards attracting international interest and supporting a variety of career paths. It will accommodate several academic backgrounds ‒ from veterinary, biological, medical and agricultural to the social sciences. Furthermore, the programme will optimise the utilisation of current technology by combining e-learning, face-to-face teaching and collaborative field workshops. Compulsory modules will be presented by either UP or ITM staff and skills training electives will be taught at either institute, giving students international opportunities and exposure.

Group photo - Signing the agreement - ITM & University of Pretoria

Group photo after the signing ceremony