Doctoral students attend research seminar in Sweden

Posted on July 08, 2016

A group of doctoral students and a postdoctoral fellow from the Centre for Augmentative and Alternative Communication (CAAC) recently attended a week-long research seminar at Jönköping University in Sweden. This collaborative project was awarded to Associate Professors Shakila Dada from the University of Pretoria and Karina Huus from the CHILD group at Jönköping University by the NRF/Swedish Foundation for International Cooperation in Research and Higher Education (STINT), Science and Technology Research Collaboration. The aim of the project was to explore the exchange of ideas through interaction between postgraduate students and researchers.

The participants commented on the experience as follows:  

'This wonderful experience opened my eyes to the benefits of collaborative research and how effective it can be in impacting the lives of people around the world. I learnt about the similarities and differences between the South African and Swedish practices applied to support children living with disabilities, and the opportunity to collaborate with other researchers to enhance my own study revived my enthusiasm for my research topic and inspired new ways of thinking. Despite differences in the stages of development of different countries, health practices all over the world experience similar problems. This made me realise that with regard to its applicability, my research need not be limited to the South African setting only. I am inspired by the prospect of doing research that cuts across continents.'

Njabulo Mbanda, doctoral student


'The week spent in Sweden was an exceptional and eye-opening experience. Being able to present my PhD study to other students was rewarding as I received critical feedback and valuable suggestions. The experience gained through working with international students broadened my knowledge and inspired me to put in the necessary effort to improve my research projects. It was also wonderful to learn how major collaborative research projects are planned and developed.'

                                                                                    Refilwe Morwane, doctoral student


'First and foremost, I want to thank Prof Shakila Dada for selecting me for this most rewarding academic opportunity and for her unwavering dedication to supporting young academics. The experience gained in Sweden and the collaboration with academics from the Jönköping University was productive and stimulating. Their expertise, dedication and enthusiasm for research were both contagious and motivational. This collaboration served and continues to serve as a source of guidance for me, especially at this stage of my PhD journey and for future academic undertakings. I would also like to express my appreciation for the inputs and camaraderie of my South African fellow students and colleagues who participated in this collaboration. Thank you very much! Or, as they say in Sweden: “Tack så mycket!"'

                                                                                    Maria Ramaahlo, doctoral student


'The week we spent at Jönköping University with Professor Karina Huus and her colleagues was beneficial in so many ways. Not only did the discussions and debates stimulate our critical thinking and clarify our ideas, but it also fostered social and academic relationships that go well beyond the scope of this project. The week-long collaboration created an environment of active, involved and exploratory learning that encouraged diverse perspectives and we were able to develop ideas that were more complete and comprehensive.'

                                                                                    Liezl Schlebusch, postdoctoral fellow


- Author Prof Shakila Dada

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