The Arup Education Trust (AET) owns 30% of Arup’s South African operation. It exists to enhance the quality of lives of disadvantaged youths through education and skills development. Recently this enhancement took the shape of a collaboration with the IDBE programme. Arup has a lengthy association with IDBE, from which several of its staff have graduated. In November 2015, Hannah Baker, a PhD student at Cambridge who is researching decision-making tools for large scale retrofitting projects, visited South Africa where she ran a workshop for all the tertiary beneficiaries of the AET. The AET students worked in groups where they role-played project stakeholders considering the potential redevelopment of a gas works site in Johannesburg.
In April 2016, the top performing AET student, Kwena Mabotsa, visited Cambridge where she participated in a residential week with IDBE masters students. The week was focussed on Heritage, conservation & retrofit. Kwena joined one of the teams tackling the associated studio project for the week – The Museum of London Smithfield competition – and in addition to visiting the Smithfield site, was exposed to a rich variety of lectures on a range of topics, cross cultural interaction and interdisciplinary working.
Kwena said of her week in Cambridge, 'I had the most exciting and memorable time of my life when I was there.'
Both the IDBE Programme and the AET are intending for the relationship continue.