Swedish and South African universities’ collaboration on Agenda 2030 challenges
3 May 2019
Swedish and South African university representatives are meeting in Stellenbosch, South Africa, from 6 to 11 May. The occasion is the SASUF network’s week-long research and innovation conference, aimed at collaboration to address the challenges in Agenda 2030. The first conference, held last year, was a success. Since then, interest among researchers, higher education institutions and funders in both countries has grown exponentially.
SASUF (the South Africa–Sweden University Forum) is a partnership among 36 Swedish and South African universities with the aim of strengthening collaboration between the two countries in research, education and innovation. For six days, from 6 to 11 May, the second week-long research and innovation event in Stellenbosch will bring together some 500 researchers, decision-makers and representatives of research councils and the business sector to form fruitful international collaborations. Interest has grown immensely: while there were roughly 70 research delegates last year, 450 will be attending this time.
“Obviously, there’s a strong mutual will among researchers and universities in both our countries to collaborate in interdisciplinary, cross-border ways in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. This project has attracted a great deal of attention and many people want to take part – it’s grown almost exponentially,” says Vice-Chancellor Eva Åkesson, who took the initiative for the project after a visit to South Africa in her official capacity a few years ago.
The main items on the programme are SASUF’s research seminars on 8–10 May, in which researchers will get together to discuss six themes connected with the challenges in Agenda 2030. These areas are climate, education, health systems, sustainable communities, sustainable cities and IT security. The purpose of the seminars is to foster transdisciplinary collaborations at both individual and organisational level, with the shared interest of strengthening the ties between research, education and innovation.
During the week, a total of 49 different “satellite events” will be held around various parts of South Africa. These will create further opportunities for the researchers to meet funders, business people, decision-makers and the public to discuss the Sustainability Development Goals.
More about SASUF: https://sasuf.org/
Programme for the week: https://sasuf.sched.com/