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International Collaboration with University West, Sweden 

The Political Studies department initiated an international collaboration with University West (UW) in Sweden in 2015. Since 2015,  the programme has funded exchange study periods in Sweden for more than ten students from the political studies department at UWC. In the same way, Swedish students have been given the chance to study at UWC. Equally important, the programme has also enabled teachers from UWC to lecture and collaborate internationally, which over the years has developed into a more formally established a long-term international education and research collaboration between the universities.

More specifically, during 2018 - 2020 academic staff from the Political Studies department have, through a series of workshops held at UWC and UW, worked together with colleagues from University West to establish an international Master’s programme in Work-Integrated Political Studies.

The programme will contextualise political studies in the field of Work Integrated Learning. This new and unique approach will connect academic studies and research to the realities of working in the public realm whether in government or civil society, implemented in an international educational environment. The programme will reinforce research areas broadly linked to the theme of Work-Integrated Learning and Applied Political Studies among, as well between, the institutions involved. The programme will equip our graduates with important knowledge, skills, as well as learning processes, expose them to international trends in the academy and the increasingly global world of work, and thereby better prepare graduates for the labour market, and deliver research rooted in immediate problems of public life.

The Masters Programme in Work-Integrated Political Studies will connect Political Studies postgraduates with the world of work, with significant potential benefits in terms of academic growth, personal, career, skill and social development. By placing students in government and civil society workplaces, the programme will contribute to strengthening the public sector by providing both a pool of potential talented employees, but also by assisting with the production of practical knowledge needed to govern democratically, to implement policy programmes and to hold the state accountable. This is because the research that students do will be directed to the needs of the host as well as forming the basis of the student dissertation. 

For the future, we foresee an exciting and expansive international collaboration. We are very proud of the fruitful and productive international collaboration between UWC and UW. Ultimately the intention is to prepare our students for citizenship in a global context by bringing international experience and knowledge to them, as well equipping them with personal empowerment skills such as organisational ability, leadership and an understanding of their agency.