Introducing the Fort Hare/ University of Alcalá Exchange Programme
Once a year for next the three years, selected UFH postgraduate students will travel to Spain where they will spend a semester furthering their studies at the University of Alcalá (UAH).
This is a benefit that accrues from the Erasmus+ KA107 partnership mobility agreement funded by the European Union in the context of Erasmus Mundus, to facilitate incoming and outgoing exchange programmes for staff and students.
Providing further details about the partnership, Dr Hlulani Mabasa, Director: International Affairs, said the partnership is supported by the Spanish Erasmus+ National Agency, with UAH as the host.
“The project is coordinated by the UAH, within the framework of the European Programme Erasmus+ Key Action KA107 of ‘International Credit Mobility’. It is a project of mobility for undergraduate, master and doctorate students, as well as academic and administrative staff, between the UAH and UFH.”
According to Dr Mabasa, talks of the partnership started five years ago as an idea to collaborate between academic staff of the two universities. “Upon my arrival at UFH, it became my vision to develop these individual and informal working relations into a university-wide partnership that brings financial resources into the institution. Given the wide and broad nature of this international credit mobility partnership agreement, we decided that it is going to be managed and located in the International Affairs Office,” he explained.
The agreement was signed by the Vice-Chancellor, Prof Sakhela Buhlungu, in October 2020. This sealed the official pact between the two universities to collaborate on various learning, teaching and training areas which are beneficial to both students and staff.
Duration and Benefits
Dr Mabasa said the partnership serves to contribute towards giving UFH staff and students an international experience in the following ways:
- Once a year for the next three (3) years, postgraduate students of the university will travel to UAH for a duration of five (5) months to spend a semester furthering their studies in line with this partnership agreement. During this period, UFH will also host two students each year to spend a semester at the relevant Faculty or Department.
- In addition, the university will also send two Academic or Administrative staff to UAH for a week in either for training or to participate in teaching. “This will contribute towards benchmarking and capacity building for our workforce.” UFH will also receive two staff members in a similar arrangement.
The grant covers for return flight tickets, health insurance, accommodation and living allowances.
- It was founded in 1499.
- One of the few universities in the world declared a “World Heritage Site” by UNESCO.
- It is also included in the QS (Quacquarelli Symonds) ranking “100 under 50” with a rating of five stars.
- UAH is regarded as one of the prestigious and big Universities in Europe in terms of student numbers, number of international students, excellent research output, and diverse, quality and impactful programmes.
Dr Mabasa said: “UAH shares many similarities with our university, hence this wonderful partnership which will undoubtedly contribute towards upskilling, professionalization and internationalization of staff and students from the two great universities.”
UFH is proud to partner with UAH on this prestigious exchange programme.
by Aretha Linden