IEE Newsletter No. 27

EUSA-ID: Final Meeting of Project Partners in Gordons Bay, South Africa

Britta Niklas reports on the meeting that took place from 18-21 March.

As the EU-funded EUSA_ID project is coming to an end in July 2018 after 5 years of activities, all South African and European partners came together for a final meeting in South Africa to discuss the results, challenges during the implementation phase and best practice examples. Another important aspect of the meeting was the discussion of options for further collaboration which ensure the sustainability of the project.

Project Components and Partners

The EUSA_ID (Capacity Building in Higher Education for an improved cooperation between the EU and SA in the field of development studies) project started with the aim of promoting intercultural understanding, fostering institutional cooperation between European and South African Higher Eduction Institutions (HEIs), contributing to the development of academic and administrative capacity of South African HEIs and enhancing collaboration between HEIs highly experienced in the management of international cooperation projects and those that are still in the process of building strong networks.

EUSA_ID brought together 8 partners from 5 European countries and 6 South African partners, who all took part in the final meeting:

  • Ruhr University Bochum, Germany;
  • Erasmus University Rotterdam, Netherlands;
  • University Duisburg/Essen, Germany;
  • Palacký University, Czech Republic;
  • University Bordeaux, France;
  • Sciences Po Bordeaux, France;
  • University of Paris 1, France;
  • University of Jyväskylä, Finland;
  • University of the Western Cape, South Africa
  • University of Cape Town, South Africa
  • University of Fort Hare, South Africa
  • Nelson Mandela University, South Africa
  • University KwaZulu Natal, South Africa
  • University of Limpopo, South Africa

Capacity-Building through Staff Exchange

All partners perceived the project as highly relevant, as it offered Master, PhD and staff training in Development Studies related fields which are supposed to contribute to and to support the process of “societal transformation" in South Africa as outlined in the Reconstruction and Development Programme. Given South Africa's role in the region, which goes beyond political and economic considerations, covering the potential to enhance regional cooperation in higher education and research, EUSA_ID took into account the broader needs of the region, fostered institutional cooperation and contributed to capacity building especially through staff exchange. 18 South African staff members made use of the opportunity and visited their European partners for a total of 36 months, either for research (academic staff) or training (administrative staff) purposes. This staff exchange not only led to capacity building and enhanced networking of partners, but also contributed to joint research activities and publications.

Mobility Opportunities for Master and PhD Students

EUSA_ID further aimed at contributing to the development of appropriate qualifications of South African and European students in the field of Development Studies. 38 South African Master students stayed for a degree or non-degree seeking mobility period for a total of 450 months in Europe. 14 South African PhD students stayed for a degree or non-degree seeking mobility period for a cumulative 384 months in Europe, and 15 European PhD students stayed for a non-degree seeking mobility period for a total of 312 months in South Africa.

Positive Feedback from Scholarship Holders

Several scholarship holders of the programme were invited to talk about their experiences at their respective host institutions during the meeting and gave a very positive feedback. Some of the students were among the best of their cohorts. The sound management structures of EUSA_ID was always able to assist students in overcoming challenges.

Further Agenda of the Meeting

Gordons Bay Conference

Group picture of project partners at the Conference in Gordons Bay (photo: Hout)

The agenda of the final meeting also covered Alumni work. In the coming months, an Alumni survey will be distributed among all grantees of EUSA_ID in order to measure the impact of the programme from the grantees’ point of view.

The selection committee selected some final staff grantees and the EUSA_ID partners discussed some promising ideas for future collaborations, as they all judged the whole project as a great success and are willing to continue in the context of personal or institutional future co-operations.

NiklasBritta Niklas
Coordinator Erasmus Mundus Project EUSA_ID
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Phone: +49 (0)234 / 32-25148
Fax: +49 (0)234 / 32-14294

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