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16 July 2019
UWC renews collaborations with Utrecht University

The University of the Western Cape (UWC) has renewed its long-standing cooperation agreement with the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands, which now includes greater university-wide research and teaching engagements.

The new agreement not only allows for staff and student exchange programmes and joint research being conducted between the two institutions but also makes provision for joint degrees and an extended research scope.

“What this agreement shows is that there is good collaboration between the two universities; with researchers now working together with deeper commitment in the pursuit of knowledge and scholarship that benefits students, staff and the communities both institutions serve” commented Mr Umesh Bawa, Director of the International Relations Office at UWC.

The agreement, which runs for the next five years, was signed in June by UWC Rector and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Tyrone Pretorius, and his Utrecht University counterpart, Professor Henk Kummeling, who is also an Extraordinary Professor of Law at UWC.

According to the agreement, the two institutions will encourage the exchange of academic staff and students, encourage the organisation of cooperative research and scientific meetings, work together on scientific publications and exchange information.

“The strength of this agreement is that it benefits both universities equally, and UWC is now a preferred partner, as is the case with our long-standing strategic partner universities like Ghent and Vrije University Brussels in Belgium. When international opportunities for accessing research funding become available, UWC can apply for it jointly with its European partners. This enhances the cooperation in scholarly matters and increases the mutual exchange of expertise between the institutions.”

The agreement, according to Mr Bawa, speaks to the University’s Institutional Operating Plan objective of comprehensive internationalisation. ‘It's a good opportunity for us to also expand our global partnership network. It enhances our global profile and affords greater opportunity for us to share our quality work through joint scholarship, doctoral co-supervision as creators and exporters of knowledge. Our African centred and contextually embedded ways of engaging, contribute new knowledge to our international partners, so we can jointly address the global challenges of our time. Collective engagement in the service of humanity is, after all, the UWC way.”