UP forges research partnership with the Collège de France

Posted on February 28, 2019

The University of Pretoria (UP) and the Collège de France have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to collaborate on research programmes, doctoral supervision and staff exchanges.

The French collège offers teaching based on the original research of its academic start to promote multidisciplinary research and contribute to France’s global influence through the dissemination of knowledge in the fields of science and culture at an international level. In terms of the agreement, visiting professors are expected to engage with the broader community of scholars within UP as part of the official teaching assignment of academics at the Collège de France.

Prof. Dirk Human (Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Theology, UP); Prof. Thomas Romer; Prof. Stephanie Burton and Prof. Vasu Reddy (Dean of Humanities, UP)

“One of the most important aspects of formal agreements is that they should be beneficial for both parties,” said Professor Stephanie Burton, UP’s Vice-Principal: Research and Postgraduate Education. “We hope to achieve much with this two-way relationship. UP has a lot to offer, especially for exchange students, in terms of research and educational programmes. We are hoping that this agreement will bring scholars together and enable us to develop shared academic communities. The agreement will be a vehicle for collaborative and interdisciplinary research activities.”  

The Collège de France’s international policy allows its professors to personally invite foreign scholars to deliver public lectures, and UP professors will be invited to the institution to deliver presentations.

The Collège de France aims to attract postdoctoral students and young researchers to work with its chairs and in its laboratories on institutional programmes. It also welcomes postdoctoral scholars who have funding from sources such as their home government, research organisations, companies and foundation. The reciprocal arrangement will apply at UP for postdoctoral scholars.

“This is our first partnership with an African university,” said Professor Thomas Römer, Chaire Milieux Bibliques at the Collège de France. “We hope to have better interaction of knowledge as well as an understanding of different cultures, and to bring people together based on research. We expect to learn and give a lot in this partnership with UP.”

Prof. Thomas Romer and Prof. Stephanie Burton signing the Memorandum of Understanding

The agreement entails the organisation of conferences, seminars and symposia of mutual interest to the institutions; the exchange of staff members for the purpose of research; the establishment of joint research programmes; the supervision of joint doctoral degrees; and the exchange of scientific and educational literature produced by either or both universities.

- Author Xolani Mathibela

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