UP joins The Global Classroom

Posted on October 30, 2017


The University of Pretoria (UP) is the only African university selected to be part of the US-based, University of Akron's The Global Classroom which selects one university from four continents to participate in relevant political debates of international concern. The aim is to increase international communication and understanding of political structures and sentiments prominent in the 21st century.

Through this programme, which is set to form part of the honours course in Political Science in 2018, students will get the opportunity to use technology to interact with other students from selected universities around the world and discuss issues related to globalisation, colonialism, political climates, democracy, labour and migration. Academic staff members and students in each location will be able to interact and exchange information and ideas. There will be weekly guest speakers ranging from political journalists and campaign consultants to judges and law enforcement and government officials.

The Global Classroom is an opportunity to highlight UP's mix of hybrid learning models and the importance of this medium in global education. The Global Classroom is inspired by the successful Campaign Battleground class at the Ray C. Bliss Institute of Applied Politics at the University of Akron (UA) in Akron, OH, and will use real-time, interactive videoconferencing and data sharing technologies to bridge four international locations into a highly collaborative teaching and learning environment.

Other universities which are part of the inaugural Global Classroom include Fundação Armando Alvares Penteado (FAAP) in São Paulo, Brazil, the University of Akron in Akron, Ohio, and Le Mans Université in Le Mans, France.

Speaking at the international video press conference that launched the event, Prof Tinyiko Maluleke and Prof Maxi Schoeman introduced the University of Pretoria and gave an overview of the stature of the University and its importance in South Africa. Prof Maluleke endorsed the programme as fitting with UP's value of embracing its position within the diplomatic hub of Africa to link continents, academic institutions, research, learning and teaching which are hallmarks of the UP international profile.

Modules in The Global Classroom for 2018 will be co-taught by academics from all the universities involved, and will provide students from around the world with an overview of the current political events in each country. Students will be able to identify trends in global news and gain a wide understanding of factors that shape international political and diplomatic events.

Prof Maxi Schoeman, Deputy Dean for Postgraduate Studies and Ethics, and Mr Roland Henwood, lecturer in comparative politics and policy, will represent the University of Pretoria in teaching this module.



- Author Shakira Hoosain

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