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Erasmus Mundus project INSPIRE announces its first call for applications and new project website

As highlighted in our previous newsletter, Uppsala University has been awarded the Nordic coordinator'a role for a new Erasmus Mundus project INSPIRE (INternational Science Promoting Innovation and entREpreneurship). The coordinator in the Southern region is the University of Western Cape.

The first call is now open for South African students. This call features full master's and PhD degrees only. For the courses available, see here.

The application deadline is November 1st.

The project also has a brand new website, where you can find up-to-date information! > Read more

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Reminder: The Brian O'Connell Scholarship Programme

The SANORD Brian O'Connell Scholarship Programme closes for applications on October 31st 2014. SANORD encourages our members to pass the information on to students.

The scholarship is offered to students registered in Masters’ programmes at Southern African SANORD member institutions. We kindly ask you to emphasise for the students that the successful candidates will be expected to spend 3 to 5 months at a Nordic SANORD member institution in order to engage in activities that will support their Master’s degree.

Read the call and download application form here

Prof Brian O'Connell honoured at UNISA

University of South Africa (Unisa) has conferred the honourary degree of Doctor of Education to UWC Rector Prof. Brian O'Connell. The degree was awarded in recognition and acknowledgment of his significant contribution to education and development in South Africa.

> Read more

> “Universities of the world must become a weapon of sense-making” - Read on Prof. O'Connell's speech at the UNISA webpage

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Prof Mayekiso to leave NMMU for a new position

Prof Thoko Mayekiso will be leaving the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University and her position as Deputy Vice Chancellor: Research and Engagement to take up the position of Vice-Chancellor of the newly established University of Mpumalanga, with effect from 1 November 2014.

> Read more

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Research: Bacteria May Provide the Key to Sustainable Energy

Researchers from the University of Turku have genetically engineered microbes to produce renewable propane for the first time. Propane is a major component of liquid petroleum gas (LPG) with an existing global market for a wide number of applications.

The study has been published in Nature Communications.
> Read more

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Article: North-South Collaboration -­ Learning together and seeking inspiration

SciFest: A virtual tug of war between Joensuu and Grahamstown. Picture: Varpu Heiskanen.

Prof. Erkki Sutinen and Dr. Jarkko Suhonen from the School of Computing, University of Eastern Finland, write about their experiences in collaboration with Southern African universities:

"North South collaboration has been crucial for the growth of our edTechΔ research group at School of Computing, University of Eastern Finland. We have more than a decade of experience in working together with several partner universities in Africa. The main focus of our joint activities has been on the research and development of novel educational technology concepts, pilots and programmes, as well as the refinement of teaching practices and materials at university level."

> Read the full article
> EdTechΔ website

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World Rhino day 2014: Research by the University of Pretoria to aid in the Rhino’s fight for survival

World Rhino Day on 22 September celebrates all five species of rhino – the Black, White, Greater One-Horned, Sumatran and Javan rhinos- living abundantly and free. Initiated in 2010 by WWF-South Africa when poaching started to escalate, it has since became an international event, uniting people and organisations from across the world who are committed to saving these animals.

While the day is intended to be a celebration, the stark fact is that three rhinos per day are lost to poaching in South Africa – a rate at which no more wild rhinos will be left by 2020.

Dr Gerhard Steenkamp of the Veterinary Science Faculty at the University of Pretoria (UP) says the world should realise this has far surpassed a mere poaching problem. Rhino horn is the most expensive commodity today. “This is organised crime and a war we are losing,” he says. But UP is dedicated to learning more about this species which very little is known in an attempt to save them from this tragic fate.

UP is the only university in South Africa that has a Veterinary Faculty and it has made significant discoveries in research to protect rhinos against the poachers’ butchering as well as treat those that survive the brutal attacks.
> Read more

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University of Pretoria to collaborate on project to address hunger and undernutrition

The University of Pretoria (UP) will be one of the institutions collaborating in a series of projects representing the best ideas and strategies from around the world to address hunger and undernutrition in some of the world’s most unforgiving agricultural regions.

The selected projects, which will be funded by the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Collaborative Research on Sorghum and Millet, will contribute towards improving food security, household resilience and private-sector growth in Ethiopia, Senegal and Niger through the enhancement of production and value-added product development.
> Read more

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CPUT signs collaboration agreement with IBM

CPUT has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with an American multinational technology and consulting corporation to enhance the training of its staff and students.

This will include the latest emerging technologies aligned to university curricula and Information Technology industry needs.
> Read more

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UniPID Seminar: Cooperation Across Borders - Comprehensive Responses to Transecting Global Challenges?

Seminar date and place: Helsinki, 12th and 13th November 2014

The Finnish University Partnership for International Development (UniPID)  will organize a seminar with the topic  “Cooperation Across Borders - Comprehensive Responses to Transecting Global Challenges?” in Helsinki on the 12th and 13th of November. The event will focus on different cross-cutting issues of international research, innovation and development cooperation addressing global challenges. > Read more

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UniPID participated the Nordic Africa Days in Uppsala

UniPID participated the Nordic Africa Days in Uppsala, Sweden on the 26th and 27th of September. The theme of the conference was "Misbehaving States and Behaving Citizens? Questions of Governance in African States."

Read more about the event and watch the keynote by Dr Mo Ibrahim on the Nordic Africa Institute's website:
> Read more

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Watch: University of Turku Opening Ceremonies on the 4th of September 2014

University of Turku has published a video on its Opening Ceremonies on the 4th of September. The festivities included a colourful carnival outside on the university hill, and an evening ceremony in the Cathedral of Turku and in the University main building.

See the video on the University of Turku Youtube channel.
> Watch the video

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