Cooperation: A universal law

Belinda Bantham -- Mon, 04/06/2020 - 14:37

Cooperation: A universal law

The North-West University prides itself as being not only one of the top-ranking universities in the country, but in Africa as well. In addition to that, the university boast numerous international partnerships that puts it on the forefront of our forward global surge towards creating a future that is rife with possibilities and unbound by constraints that inhibit our common cause: prosperity.

We are a happy, productive member of the global village.  There are many seats where we find sitting and one of them is a partnership that spans more than just our eclectic continent.

The EDOLAD Programme at the North-West University’s Faculty of Law knows no bounds. The NWU is  the only African university that is one of six partners in the European Joint Doctorate in Law and Development (EDOLAD) programme: The six universities cooperating in this programme are: Tilburg University (Netherlands), Deusto University (Spain), Oslo University (Norway), Tartu University (Estonia), the University of Edinburgh (UK) and North-West University (RSA). The programme was launched in January 2015 and initially funded by the European Union.

The focus of this programme is a doctoral programme in Law and Development to improve and increase the research in this field. The EDOLAD doctorate is a three-year full-time programme, starting each year in February.

One candidate, Angela van den Berg, has already completed her joint doctoral degree and two other students from the NWU are busy with this programme.

This is, however, not where the story ends. The NWU, Tilburg (Netherlands) and Midlands State University (Zimbabwe) has a seven year-programme partly funded by the Dutch Embassy in Harare. This entails a week-long summer school, attended by students and lecturers from these threse universities, is held on a yearly basis. The theme of the summer school is Business and Human Rights: national and transnational perspectives. The programme is now in its fifth year and is designed to focus on international business globalization with a human face.

Then there is the faculty’s South African Research Chair in Cities, Law and Environmental Sustainability (CLES) which opened its doors in January 2019.

The Konrad-Adenauer Stiftung in Germany and CLES cooperate towards science engagement and research activities like workshops, seminars and case study collection concerning urban sustainability and resilience with a particular focus on climate change.

Then UN Habitat and CLES cooperate in relation to law and urban sustainability in the South African and African regions by way of updates for an online depository hosted by the United Nations, as well as the hosting of joint research activities such as an annual "Urban Day" conference.

Last but not least the Faculty of Law and CLES have cooperated as research partners in a joint research project on "Safe and Sustainable Cities from the Perspective of Law" which is funded by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.  This partnership has resulted in many academic exchanges over a period of four years.

These are some of the flagship projects run by the Faculty of Law in conjunction with their international partners, but that number fails to portray a picture that is ever expanding. Therre are many formal cooperation agreements with foreign universities and individual researchers who cooperate the NWU and more is yet to come. It all starts here.