Prof van Coller, Associate Professor at the Rhodes Law Faculty received a grant from the Coimbra Group Scholarship Programme for Young African Researchers to spend three months at a Coimbra Group University for research purposes. The Coimbra Group is an association of long-established European comprehensive, multidisciplinary universities of high international standard committed to creating special academic and cultural ties. Coimbra Group Universities have been providing, since 2008, young researchers from universities in Sub-Saharan Africa with the opportunity to spend a short period (1 to 3 months) at a Coimbra Group University to carry out part of their research there.
Prof van Coller applied for sabbatical leave for 2017 and hope to spend three months at the Faculty of Canon Law at the KU Leuven, Belgium. Situated in Belgium, in the heart of Western Europe, KU Leuven has been a centre of learning for nearly six centuries. Today, it is Belgium's largest university and, founded in 1425, one of the oldest and most renowned universities in Europe.
Prof van Coller’s research focusses on the importance of religious organisations as stakeholders in participatory governance and examine the impact of the right to freedom of religion on the effective functioning of religious organisations in society. The Coimbra grant is aimed at giving researchers the opportunity to update their knowledge and/or specialize in the field of the proposed research. The focus of the Faculty of Canon Law at KU Leuven is particularly aimed at the position of religion in contemporary society with the special emphasis on everyday religious life and expression. The methodology of the Faculty and the attention which is paid to ‘law’ in the study of canon law will further contribute to Prof van Coller’s research. Both in research and in education, a special emphasis is laid on social relevance and commitment with particular attention to the methodology of law. The Faculty of Canon Law, KU Leuven has internationally renowned staff and an excellently equipped Canon Law Library and access to research facilities and resources.