Strength in Partnership

The Texas International Education Consortium Launches Cross-Cultural Just Energy Transition Project in Association with Universities South Africa sponsored by the U.S. Department of State


Austin, Texas – March 28, 2024: The Texas International Education Consortium (TIEC) and Universities South Africa (USAf) are pleased to announce a new collaboration funded by the U.S. government through the U.S. Embassy in Pretoria, South Africa. With a focus on the goals of the Just Energy Transition in South Africa, the program primarily targets universities, community colleges, and technical and vocational education and training (TVET) programs in Texas and South Africa. The program will promote cross-cultural collaboration across U.S. and South African institutions to develop innovative action plans for the energy transition, foster international partnership for climate solutions, and engage and uplift communities’ education and skills development. The program will include a series of virtual seminars and a reciprocal in-person exchange during 2024.

“Since 2019, the U.S. government’s University Partnership Initiative has connected more than 45 U.S. universities with more than 110 African universities to increase student and staff mobility and projects that foster joint collaboration,” said U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of South Africa, Reuben E. Brigety, II. “In South Africa, this has led to an investment of more than $2.5 million in partnerships that build the people-to-people and institutional ties that form the bedrock of our bilateral relationship. We are eager to see how this collaboration between TIEC and USAf spurs innovative climate solutions and the skills development necessary to support a just energy transition.”

Through the ground-breaking Just Energy Transition Partnership with the United States and other partner nations, South Africa has committed to creating jobs, driving more rapid and inclusive economic development, and enabling stronger and deeper collaboration in order to address the global risks of climate change.

“We are excited to be partnering with TIEC on this crucial focus area for USAf and its member universities, especially on its contribution to a more Just Energy Transition and sustainable future for South Africa and its people,” said Dr. Phethiwe Matutu, Chief Executive Officer of Universities South Africa. “The project will enhance and complement what we’re already doing in this domain through our relevant strategy groups and community of practice.”

With Texas leading national energy production, it’s an exemplary partner for South Africa to collaborate with, primarily focusing on the state’s own energy transitions by imparting strategy, innovation, and best practices. Texas holds the first rank in wind-generated electricity, contributing over one-fourth to the U.S.’s total wind-powered electricity in 2021 and ranks sixth in the nation for solar power potential.

“Texas has long been a leader in innovation, and our member institutions have been at the forefront of the energy transition as Texas and the world look to implement new climate solutions,” said Robin Lerner, JD, President & CEO of TIEC. “Supported by a diverse array of sustainable and renewable energy research centers across multiple universities, Texas is eager to partner with institutions abroad to work towards a just energy transition.”

A total of 40 participants from cross-disciplinary departments of TIEC and USAf member institutions and South African TVETs will partake in the program, with selected participants representing their institutions during the reciprocal exchanges.

Press Contact:
Steven Kroman
Director of Programs

About Universities South Africa (USAf)
Universities South Africa (USAf) is a non-profit membership organization representative of South Africa’s 26 public universities. USAf endorses a comprehensive, responsive, sustainable and equitable national higher education system. Through lobbying and advocacy, and its flagship programmes, USAf promotes and facilitates an optimal environment conducive for Universities to function effectually and maximally contribute to the social, cultural, and economic advancement of South Africa. Improving the environmental sustainability of the higher education sector is among the objectives of USAf. USAf grounds and derives its strategy and operations from the broader values of Equality, Non-Discrimination, Academic Freedom, Critical Scholarship, Intellectual Enquiry, Ethical Advocacy, and Environmental Sustainability, as well as the Africanisation of its focus, which are enshrined in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa. For more information on USAf please visit

About the Texas International Education Consortium
Since 1985, the Texas International Education Consortium, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, has been working on behalf of its members to build international partnerships and a global network of friends and sponsors to bring opportunities to Texas and share Texas expertise around the world. At 50+ members, TIEC’s university matchmaking has opened opportunities for faculty research as well as student mobility, student recruitment, and professional exchange. TIEC was created to be a nimble programming partner to its university members and has established itself as a trusted implementer of publicly-funded grants and programs, as well as fee-for-service projects. TIEC has supported the establishment and growth of universities in more than 40 countries around the world, and serves as a J visa sponsor for academic programs, supporting the diverse needs of its partners. For more information, visit For examples of our programs, visit TIEC News.