By Nwabisa Moyo
Four Rhodes University professors recently attended a project meeting for the EU-funded Creating Postgraduate Collaborations (CPC) in Kisumu, Kenya, together with representatives from eight other universities included in the project.
The meeting host was Dr Lilian Omondi, a Researcher and Academic in the Sociology Department at Maseno University in Kenya. Representatives from Rhodes University included Management Professor Lynette Louw, African Languages Studies Professor Dion Nkomo, Former Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Academic and Student Affairs Professor Chrissie Boughey and Director of the Centre for Postgraduate Studies Professor Sioux McKenna
The CPC project is focused on enhancing postgraduate education from 2020 until 2023. It is an expansion of previous projects funded by the Dutch Government (NUFFIC), the Department of Higher Education and Training, and the European Union (EU). The nine representative universities are Vrije Universiteit and ISS in the Netherlands, Moi, SEKU, and Maseno University in Kenya, Rhodes University and the University of Venda in South Africa, Boğaziçi University in Turkey, and the University of Antwerp in Belgium. This project investigates the role institutional environments and networks play in ensuring that postgraduates flourish in their respective fields.
The meeting in Kisumu resulted in multiple positive networking results, such as sharing postgraduate models and support structures and planning a new funding proposal for postgraduate student mobility. There are also plans for Rhodes University’s Strengthening Postgraduate Supervision course, which has been offered more than 80 times, to be offered at all the partner universities.
Next year, the CPC project will be supporting a Winter School at Rhodes University during the National Arts Festival. Rhodes University Management Professor Lynette Louw will lead this course. The main aim of this Winter School will be to showcase cutting-edge research in the field of commerce and to enable researchers, postgraduate students, and prospective postgraduate students to better understand the Commerce Faculty.
There will also be a course on research management, grant writing and administering project budgets. During this course, participants will have the opportunity to share resources and learn from their peers.
Over and above a Winter School and Research Management course, a book edited by Emeritus Professor Chrissie Boughey, is due to be published by the end of 2022 by Vrije Universiteit Press.
With such great minds behind the postgraduate education system, the future for postgraduate students appears bright – and their contribution to the country’s workforce even brighter.