Rhodes hosts postgraduates Colloquium

The Political and International Studies Department at Rhodes University recently hosted a two-day Colloquium for postgraduate students from three Eastern Cape based universities.

This year, the South African Association of Political Science (SAAPS) Regional Colloquium saw postgraduate students presenting interesting papers on the role of the African Union and responses to the Arab Spring revolution, which resulted in vigorous debates during the questions and answers sessions.

The theme of the Colloquium was, “The Role and Response(s) of the African Union to the North African Revolution: Reflections and Recommendations.”

“The idea is to foster intellectual engagement between the students of these universities but also help students who might be writing papers which they intend to publish with input, constructive criticism and critical analysis of their papers and ideas from a diverse audience,” said Mr Mike Mavura, one of the organizers and a Politics and International Studies’ lecturer.

According to Mr Mavura Rhodes University was represented by about 15 students from both undergraduate as well as post-graduate programmes, University of Fort Hare had eight students, while the Nelson Mandela Metro University could only afford to send a lecturer as their students couldn’t finish their papers on time for the Colloquium.

“The Colloquium was successful and the department prided itself of those students who took part in it,” said Mr Mavura. He added that the department had decided to encourage students to participate as the Colloquium was “aimed at the development of emerging scholars in political science, with the aim of fostering a culture of positive scholarly engagement amongst scholars and thinkers of politics.” 

 “We also agreed with Dr Steyn-Kotze (of NMMU) that the National Research Foundation be approached to fund a publication of the papers presented at the colloquium, which is a testament to the high quality of the work that the students presented,” said Mr Mavura.  

The regional universities colloquium takes place every two years, and this year, Rhodes and NMMU were joined by University of Fort Hare as a new and additional member.

By Rudzani Floyd Musekwa

Photos by Adrian Frost


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