Below you can read about exciting projects and programmes that are funded by the DAAD in South Africa. These include graduate schools between universities in South Africa and Germany, In-Region scholarships at certain centres and research units at South African universities, German-African Centres of Excellence that are active in South Africa, and many more!
The Wits-TUB Urban Lab, launched in the context of a cooperation between the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg and the Technical University of Berlin, has been training students and doctoral candidates in development approaches towards the sustainability of large urban areas since its inception in 2016.
The bilateral graduate school, based at the University of the Witwatersrand, is funded by the DAAD programme, Bilateral SDG Graduate Schools, in which 6 other graduate schools worldwide are also funded. The programme, launched in 2016 in response to the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda in which 17 Sustainable Development Goals are stipulated and funded by the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, seeks to establish and expand key structures at universities in developing countries with the goal of transforming these universities into driving forces for sustainable development, both locally and globally.
A total of 41 Master and 6 PhD scholarships have been awarded to South Africans and other African Nationals for study and research at the Wits-TUB Urban Lab since the inception of the programme. A further component of the project are the annual summer schools, hosted in Berlin in 2017 and in Johannesburg in 2018, that promote the international collaboration of African and European students on projects surrounding socioeconomic and structural transformation issues in the urban field over the course of one week. This allows the students to catch a glimpse of what life is like in the partner university’s city and to acknowledge that, in spite of different contexts, the problems in urban areas are similar.
Following several curriculum workshops in close collaboration with the Habitat Unit at TU Berlin, the Wits-TUB Urban Lab has implemented curriculum reform at the University of the Witwatersrand. This has resulted in the restructuring of its interdisciplinary Master degrees into various fields under a Master of Urban Studies, and conceptualisation of a new field, namely the Master of Urban Studies in Urban Management, and the further enhancement of the PhD programme. The School of Architecture and Planning, under which the Wits-TUB Urban Lab falls, further benefits from staff exchanges from other African countries and the Habitat Unit at TU Berlin, Germany thanks to the cooperation funded by the DAAD. The partnership also makes field trips to other African countries and Germany possible for the PhD scholarship holders, further promoting transnational and transdisciplinary approaches and solutions for problems facing urban areas today.
The Wits-TUB Urban Lab is actively establishing partnerships with other organisations in urban and sustainability fields and procuring internships and placements at various organisations all over Africa for its students. In 2019, the graduate school looks forward to the launch of their new Master degree, the upcoming summer school at TU Berlin and the application process for the 2020 scholarships. The DAAD Information Centre Johannesburg is committed to assisting the Wits-TUB Urban Lab with the marketing of its scholarships and degrees. Be sure to follow our social media and keep a close eye on our website for more on this exciting project between Europe and Africa.