Summer School attendees from Rhodes University, Kenya and the Netherlands
Summer School attendees from Rhodes University, Kenya and the Netherlands
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Collaborating for postgraduate education projects globally

Date Released: Thu, 5 October 2023 14:18 +0200

By Mazvita Thondhlana

Rhodes University recently joined partner universities from Kenya and the Netherlands for a Summer School hosted by Maseno University as part of the ongoing EU-funded Creating Postgraduate Collaborations project []. The Summer School focused on developing grant development and management skills, in line with the goals of supporting international cooperation projects based on multilateral partnerships between organisations.

The Summer School teams spent the week developing collaborative funding proposals creatively that included:

  • using existing European Union funding calls to ensure authentic learning;
  • using the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions to develop a proposal on food systems;
  • using the Capacity Building in Higher Education Strand III funding call to develop a proposal on doctoral education in East and Southern Africa; and
  • focusing on the grant management cycle.


Seven staff members from Rhodes University attended the Summer School, including Prof Sioux McKenna, Prof Chrissie Boughey, Dr Kirstin Wilmot, Dr Gamu Chakona, Dr Mazvita Thondhlana, Ms Siphokazi Mankayi and Mr Siya Mtembu.

One of the teams developed a proposal that looks at indigenous food systems and integrated approaches to their study, focusing on climate change, gender, and the co-creation of food system knowledge from farm to fork.

Another team’s focus on doctoral education was adopted as this level of higher education has been identified in both Kenyan and South African policy as a key lever towards building the knowledge economy and contributing to human development. If successful, the grant used as the basis for this team focusing on grant development will enable a systems-level partnership between Kenya, South Africa, and Europe.

The proposal calls for transformation in doctoral education in Southern and Eastern Africa, including policy development around curriculated doctoral programmes, recruitment and funding, governance and quality, and internationalisation.