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University of Havana scholars visit Rhodes University
University of Havana scholars visit Rhodes University
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University of Havana scholars visit Rhodes University

Date Released: Fri, 23 March 2018 12:15 +0200

Scholars from the University of Havana in Cuba were joined by Professor Catarina Gomes from The Catholic University (Luanda, Angola), Professor Carlos Arnaldo from Universidade Eduardo Modlane (Maputo, Mozambique) and welcomed on the Rhodes University campus with a brief presentation on Rhodes University, its history and the contemporary context of Higher Education in South Africa by the Director of the International Office, Ms Orla Quinlan.

An initiative of the Institute for Social and Economic Research (ISER), and the Rhodes University Research Office, the group were en route, to an intensive four day research proposal development workshop in Hogsback.  The purpose of the workshop was to develop a methodology and a framework for a full proposal on “Cultures of Social Solidarity” . Professor Van Niekerk suggested that “under the contemporary conditions of economic change, South Africa and Cuba with Angola and Mozambique had much to learn from each other through critical empirical scholarship and this workshop offered an opportunity to deepen bonds of academic solidarity between scholars in their respective countries”.

Academics from the Centre for Latin American Social Sciences (FLACSO) included: Dr. Reynaldo Jiménez, Director of International Relations, addressed the  issues of education, citizen participation and current changes in Cuban society; Prof Alfredo Carballo, a social economist working on the economics of culture; Professor Antonio Herrada addressed issues of cultural policies and territory in Cuba; Professor Luisa Iñiguez, who is also a consultant for the Pan American Health Organization addressed health issues: achievements, challenges and perspectives in Cuba. Professor Marcelino Roberto Almaguer, with experience in education in the Republic of Angola, addressed issues of the Cuban political system; Professor Tania Caram addressed issues of gender and the empowerment of women in Cuban society. FLASCO academics were joined by Ms Suretmis Suárez Fernadez, Head of the Department of English, at the Faculty of Foreign Languages and  Professor Willy Pedroso, Faculty of Communication, who discussed issues of media in Cuba. Dr. Ileana Sorolla,  Director of International Relations of the University of Havana, accompanied the group.

The Cuban, Angolan and Mozambiquan scholars  were joined by several South African academics including Prof Robert Van Niekerk, Prof Yusef Sayed, Prof Fred Hendricks, Mr Prof Larry Strelitz, Prof Lynette Steenveld, Mr Eddie Cottle, Mr Shepi Mati and Dr Nimi Hoffman from Rhodes University; Professor David Sanders, emeritus professor of Public Health at UWC and Professor Gregory Ruiters from University of the Western Cape and Dr Nomusa Makhubu from the University of Cape town.

The intensive workshop ended Thursday, March 22nd with the intended outcome and way forward on developing further collaboration. A follow-up workshop is planned at the University of Havana in July 2018 to finalise the proposal.