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Per Assmo

“This approach will connect academic studies and research to the realities of working in the public realm”, says Per Assmo.

The current project, funded by STINT, aims to develop and establish a long-term formal international education & research collaboration between University West (UW) and University of Western Cape (UWC) in South Africa.

The development of an international collaborative Education & Research programme between UW and UWC is based on an identified need to develop an internationally competitive post-graduate and research programme, within the broader field of Work Integrated Political Studies, which embraces scholarship on new forms of ‘learning through doing’ such as experiential learning, action research and participatory methods.

Research rooted in immediate problems

To do this, the programme will develop and establish a Work Integrated Learning (WIL) approach to the field of Work Integrated Political Studies. This approach will connect academic studies and research to the realities of working in the public realm whether in government or civil society. In so doing, the programme will better prepare graduates for the labour market, and deliver research rooted in immediate problems of public life.

The programme will also reinforce research areas broadly linked to the theme of Work Integrated Learning (WIL) and Applied Political Studies among, as well between, the institutions involved. Not only will the programme equip graduates with important knowledge, skills, as well as learning processes, but it will also expose them to international trends in academy and the increasingly global world of work.

During 2018/2019, staff from University West and UWC will work together through a series of planning workshops, held at both universities. In the first two workshops held in Sweden and South Africa, the participants developed central ideas and plans to establish the jointly organised international Master’s programme. The workshop focused on trying to first understand and jointly decide on some of the more fundamental questions regarding the proposed Master Programme. Important questions were addressed such as why this degree is important to pursue at both UW and UWC, how the degree is going to be offered and who the potential students are. The participants also had to consider some of the potential challenges in the university systems of Sweden and South Africa and how these may be overcome. In the coming two workshops planned for 2019, the participants will continue and focus on the curriculum and the work placement components of the proposed WIL programme.

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