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On behalf of the SANORD Board, we wish all members a peaceful Festive Season and a blessed New Year!


2019 Brian O'Connell (BOC) Scholarship Programme

The SANORD Board is pleased to announce that the successful candidates of the 2019 Brian O’ Connell Scholarship Programme have been selected! 

Out of the cohort of 19 applicants, 5 were awarded the BOC Scholarship. The students come from various universities across the Southern African region and will spend their time abroad at various Nordic instiutions, with the following mobilities:

From University of the Western Cape to University of Bergen.

From University of Botswana to Lund University.

From University of Pretoria to Aarhus University.

From Cape Peninsula University of Technology to Karlstad University.

From University of Cape Town to Western Norway University of Applied Sciences.

We wish the students well during their tenure at the various member institutions in the 2020 academic year! Read more

2019 Theme Group Projects (TGP)

The SANORD Board is pleased to announce that out of the cohort of 17 applications, 6 research projects were awarded the Theme Group Project Funding. The following projects have been granted the funding:

1. "Achieving Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4 on Quality Education, Challenges and Opportunities, Experiences from SADC Region" (Lead researcher - G. Shava)

2. "Analysis of policy frameworks for ‘children in care’ in South Africa and Sweden: creating enabling environments for child participation that contribute to social change" (P. Nykänen)

3. "Moving out and falling back in poverty? Economic vulnerability in southern Africa" (E. Green)

4. "Multi-pronged strategies to integrate education for sustainable development in STEM curricula" (N. Phuthi)

5. "People on the Move: Migration, Mobilities and Social Work" (T. Toikko)

6. "Trading Justice for Peace: Critical Reflections on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission(s) in South Africa and Norway(J. Klaasen)

We wish the research groups fruitful collaboration and success in their academic endeavours! Read more

SANORD 2020 Annual Scientific Conference

We invite all researchers and academics to submit their abstracts for the 13th SANORD Annual Scientific Conference!

The various themes are:

1. Climate and climate impacts on humans

2. Higher education: Shaping the SDG curriculum

3. Health: Addressing complexity in health

4. Innovation and entrepreneurship

5. Epistemic challenges, intellectual labour and South-North partnerships

6. Moving forward: Music and arts

The Call for Abstracts will be announced on the website shortly. Read more

UNIVERSITY OF TURKU (UTU): UTUGS and Doctoral Programmes

The University of Turku Graduate School consists of doctoral programmes which cover all disciplines. The aim of UTUGS is to provide systematic and high quality doctoral training for candidates. Each doctoral candidate has a personal supervisor and the progress of the dissertation is followed regularly. The aim of doctoral training is to train highly qualified experts with the skills required for a professional career in research and other positions of expertise. Read more


With this article, we would like to start a tradition in the SANORD Newsletter to honour member countries on their top achievements. The accolades may be in any area; Sports, Arts, Science, Education, Politics, Development, etc. We would like to celebrate the achievements of our member institutions and countries and we hope that members will support this tradition!

South Africa Wins 2019 Rugby World Cup!

Source: David Rogers (Getty Images).

We congratulate South Africa on winning the 2019 Rugby World Cup! Above, Captain of the South African National Team, Siya Kolisi, lifts the Web Ellis cup following his team's victory in the Rugby World Cup 2019 Final between England and South Africa at International Stadium Yokohama on 2 November 2019! Read more

On 11 November 2019, the World Champions did a tour around Cape Town to greet their supporters and the SCO team went to see them! Photograph: Grant Pitcher.


UNIVERSITY OF TURKU (UTU): Future with Africa Panel Discussion Highlighted Significance of Collaboration

The University of Turku organized the Future with Africa panel discussion at the Europe Forum Turku that covered the collaboration between Europe and Africa from the perspective of universities and research. UTU and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) are starting systematic and close collaboration. UTU has been an active operator in Africa for a long time, especially in Tanzania and Namibia. Read more

Vice-President of Namibia, Mbumba, visits Finland!

Vice-President of Namibia, Nangolo Mbumba, visited Finland on 8-10 September 2019. In Helsinki, Vice-President Mbumba met Prime Minister Rinne to talk about bilateral cooperation between Namibia and Finland. He also met the President of Finland, Sauli Niinistö, and former President, Martti Ahtisaari. The matters discussed included great global challenges such as climate change, international and regional questions, and Finland’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union. The visit was part of the Finnish Government’s efforts towards closer relations with African countries and also involving Finnish companies even more closely in the cooperation. Read more


University of Jyväskylä hosted the "SDG 4: Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) Seminar". The event is an annual forum for students and academics that focuses on comprehensive strategies to promote education for Sustainable Development. To view the opening session and various panels, click here.

UNIVERSITY OF NAMIBIA (UNAM): Decolonization Workshops

The Visual Arts Department at the University of Namibia and the Institute of Anthropology and Cultural Research, University of Bremen, held workshops that addressed key anthropological issues in modern-day Namibia. The workshops employed such innovative approaches as walking and storytelling in prominent sites as well as visual ethnographic film-based storytelling. Read more

The collaboration was between the staff from the Visual Arts Department, Dr Rosa Persendt and Ms Frauke Stegmann, and the Institute of Anthropology and Cultural Research, University of Bremen, represented by Dr Cordula Weisskoeppel and Dr Martin Gruber. Photograph: John Haufiku.

DURBAN UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY (DUT): IEP Workshop Looks at Internationalization in Higher Education

The Directorate of International Education and Partnerships at the Durban University of Technology hosted a workshop on Internationalisation of the Curriculum, themed "Re-thinking of internationalisation of higher education in a complex and fractured world". The workshop was held on 11 November 2019. It was facilitated by Dr Nico Jooste of Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU). According to Dr Jooste, "The curriculum is the soul of the university and it is how it defines itself in the face of society. An internationalised curriculum is one of the responses of the University of the 21st Century to the challenges of the globalised world." Read more

Dr Nico Jooste presenting at the IEP workshop. Photograph: DUT.

UNIVERSITY OF BOTSWANA (UB): Confucius Institute Celebrates 10 Years

The Confucius Institute at the University of Botswana turned 10 years old this year. It is part of 282 institutes that were established throughout the world by the Chinese government in 2009. There are 520 such in the world. The aim was to promote the Confucius philosophy through partnerships between the Chinese Higher education and those of other countries. At the 10th Anniversary celebrations on 25 November 2019, Vice-Chancellor, Professor Norris, said, "Starting from a humble beginning of 81 students in session one, level one, a total of 8,500 students have gone through CIUB to date." Read more

During the event, about 30 graduates received their certificates in different levels. Photograph: UB.



Artwork: Centre for Critical Heritage Studies UGOT UCL

To solve today's global societal challenges, University of Gothenburg launched UGOT Challenges - Global Societal Challenges. When established in 2016, the initiative invested SEK 300 million in six multidisciplinary research centres covering thematic areas, such as Marine Aquaculture, Ageing and Health, Antibiotic Resistance, Critical Heritage Studies, Collective Action and Chemical Risk Assessment. The intiative is now halfway through its six year plan. Read more

North-West University (NWU): First PhD Dissertation on African Indigenous Astronomy

"For centuries people in Africa have measured time, seasons and direction by the stars, and now the North-West University has conferred the continent’s first PhD in Indigenous Knowledge Systems focusing on African indigenous astronomy on Dr Motheo Koitsiwe." The research of Dr Koitsiwe focused on indigenous astronomy of the Batswana people in Botswana and South Africa in areas, such as Agriculture, Reproductive Health, Navigation, Time Calculation, Calendar Making, Rainmaking and Thanksgiving Ceremonies, and for Natural Disaster Management. Read more

Dr Koitsiwe comments on the origins of his interest in African indigenous astronomy: “This passion was ignited by my late grandmother, Mmamodiagane Tladinyane, when she narrated stories, poems, riddles, songs of African night skies and cosmologies around the fireplace”.

Dr Koitsiwe also plans to translate his thesis into Setswana. 

Photograph: NWU.

THE NORDIC AFRICA INSTITUTE: Rapid Economic Growth Does Not Make a Country Immune to Debt Distress

Jörgen Levin, a Senior Researcher at the Nordic Africa Institute, produced a policy paper with recommendations to African governments regarding increasing levels of debt and financing development projects through loans. Levin suggests that "Governments – in particular those rich in natural resource – should instead institutionalise rules to save when prices are high (good times) and boost public spending when prices are low (bad times)". Read more

The policy paper highlights two topical questions: what lies behind increasing levels of debt in Africa, and what are the challenges when financing development projects through loans?

Water Development Project in Lesotho. Photograph: John Hogg.


In his article "Saving African Knowledge", Professor Mogomme Masoga emphasized the need for African continental presence in all spheres of life, politics and knowledge. Of particular importance are areas, such as Sustainable Development and Social Justice. The key to building effective and socially just African presence is partnership with other continents and knowledge spaces which work so that Africans can commit to and uphold their traditions and knowledge. Read more

Photograph: Ian Macharia on Unsplash.

UNIVERSITY OF TURKU (UTU): INVEST - New Welfare State is Created by Investing in Children and Adolescents

"The Finnish welfare system is a success story enjoying global admiration. However, there is one central deficit in the current welfare system: it does not sufficiently help families with accumulated disadvantages. The goal of the INVEST project’s researchers is to build a Welfare State 2.0 in which disadvantages are tackled with targeted interventions." The Academy of Finland recognized the potential of the project and awarded it generous funding. Read more

A metaphor for the welfare state. Photographs: Hanna Oksanen.

UNIVERSITY WEST (HV): Creation of Artificial Intelligence Influencer

Within 15 years, Sweden will have a shortage of 35,000 engineers. To attract the Swedish youth to a future in technology, University West is launching the project The Life of A.R.T (Artificial Research Technology). The project aims to develop a virtual influencer who will inspire young people to seek a career within the technology field. Vice-Chancellor, Martin Hellström, says, "We see a need to communicate to a younger audience in order to maintain their interest in technology throughout their teens. We hope that this investment will create an interest in the education we offer at HV, but also that other universities, companies and organizations can benefit from the project." Read more

Maria Derner (Head of Communication), Martin Hellström (Vice-Chancellor) together with the researchers Tobias Arvemo and Andreas de Blanche. Photograph: HV.

LINKOPING UNIVERSITY (LiU): Welcome Indoors, Solar Cells

A life-changing innovation emerged at Linköping University. "Swedish and Chinese scientists have developed organic solar cells optimised to convert ambient indoor light to electricity. The power they produce is low, but is probably enough to feed the millions of products that the internet of things will bring online." Read more

Wuming Wang, PhD Student, and Jonas Bergqvist, Principal Research Engineer in the solar cell laboratory. Photograph: Thor Balkhed.

VID SPECIALIZED UNIVERSITY (VID): Celebration with a Conference on Spiritual Care

Tove Giske has been travelling to Nursing Conferences around the world since she was 25. When the Professor turned 60, she invited the world to VID Specialized University. She contacted 12 of her research colleagues around the world to ask them if they would come to Bergen to celebrate her 60th birthday and give a talk at a conference on Spiritual Care. The conference was held at VID. Researchers from Ghana, the Philippines, the USA, Mongolia and Europe gave talks on teaching methods and the importance of spiritual care in different cultures. The audience included participants from all over the world. Read more

Speakers from all over the world came together to share knowledge about Spiritual Care in Nursing. Photograph: Laila Borge.

TAMPERE UNIVERSITY (TAU): Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation are Reducing Infant Mortality in Mali

Tampere University is coordinating a large-scale trial in Mali, West Africa, to determine whether the mass administration of Azithromycin antibiotic to asymptomatic children can reduce the high mortality rate of babies between 1-11 months of age. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is investing USD 20 million in a four-year study that starts in November 2019. "We believe that Azithromycin treatment can reduce infant mortality in the area by 15 to 30%." says Professor Ashorn, from the Faculty of Medicine and Health Technology. Currently, between six and seven Malian children in one hundred die before their first birthday and every tenth child dies before they are five years old. Read more

Approximately 35,000 babies in 710 villages in rural Mali will participate in the drug trial. Photograph: TAU.

VAAL UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY (VUT): Outshining the Taxi Industry through Master's Dissertation

Mukhodeni Masela, a Master’s student at Vaal University of Technology, received an international exchange scholarship to DHBW Ravensburg in Germany. There, he passed 12 courses and excelled in 8 subjects. However, he did not just excel in Germany, but his current study title: "Exploring the application of Management Accounting Principles in the Emfuleni Local Municipality Taxi Industry" has had an influence in the taxi industry by changing perceptions about saving money. Masela said that mismanagement of funds and lack of bookkeeping have stolen billions of people’s money. He aims to eliminate these problems with three innovative products. Read more

Acknowledgement of transport delegation, VUT representatives and MEC of Gauteng Department: Roads and Transport, Mr Steven Matsemela. Photograph: VUT.