University of Erlangen-Nuremberg Students and Staff at UKZN
Visiting students from the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg in Germany were officially welcomed by the School of Built Environment and Development (BEDS) recently.
Professor Juergen Kaehler, Mr Christoph Weber and Ms Kim Rastert along with their students Ms Veronika Sumser and Ms Anne-Marie Illés joined the Development Studies Masters courses for this semester at UKZN, while the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg lecturers offered a special course to UKZN masters students over two weeks.
The School’s Dr Mvuselelo Ngcoya said: 'This exchange programme has been running for three years and it’s one of the best I've seen. We don’t have a shortage of international scholars coming to Africa to gain expertise on all manner of issues. Where this programme is different is that we make every endeavour to ensure the exchange is equitable.
‘In the last two iterations, the University of Erlangen has sent us three students and we have done the same. The programme also includes a staff exchange component - my colleague Mohammed Vawda has just returned from a short stint in Germany and two lecturers from Germany have been here for two weeks teaching a special module on International Finance and Money.’
Students Sumser and Illes said: ‘Former students told us about their positive experiences here which further encouraged us to choose UKZN. It is also important for us as students of an international masters course to explore another academic perspective in our field of studies. Apart from that, the multi-ethnic society of South Africa and especially of Durban attracted our attention.
‘Academically, we hope to get to know other approaches or even theories on development studies. Of course we are also keen to explore the field of development against a South African background by learning about the country’s specific challenges. This in turn will help us later in our professional lives to understand the problems developing countries face and to help search for solutions for them.’
The students said they look forward to meeting students of different backgrounds here and indicated that ‘the exchange programme is widely known among our colleagues in our master programme.
‘All of us appreciate this cooperation and the efforts that have been put into it. We especially enjoyed the time when three South African students came over to our German university and joined our classes. It always means talking about different experiences, opinions and sharing life.’