Georgia State Strengthens Collaborations with Partner Universities in South Africa

Georgia State, Partner Universities, South Africa

Georgia State’s delegation to South Africa tour the Wits Art Museum in Johannesburg (from left to right): Dr. Jun Liu, Associate Provost for international initiatives, Dr. Risa Palm, Provost of Georgia State, Dr. MaryAnn Romski, Associate Dean of research and graduate studies in the College of Arts and Sciences, Dr. Mary Beth Walker, Dean of the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Dr. Sally Wallace, Chair of the Department of Economics in the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Jacobus Boers, lecturer in the Robinson College of Business, and Dr. Elizabeth Beck, professor in the School of Social Work in the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies.

Dr. Risa Palm, Provost of Georgia State, and Dr. Jun Liu, Georgia State’s Associate Provost for international initiatives, recently led a delegation of deans and faculty to South Africa to strengthen collaborations with Georgia State partner universities and top universities in the country, including the University of Pretoria (Pretoria), the University of Cape Town (Cape Town), University of Witswatersrand (Johannesburg), the University of Johannesburg (Johannesburg), and the University of the Western Cape (Cape Town).

Georgia State’s esteemed delegation also included Dr. MaryAnn Romski, Associate Dean of research and graduate studies in the College of Arts and Sciences, Dr. Mary Beth Walker, Dean of the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Dr. Sally Wallace, Chair of the Department of Economics in the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies and Chair of the university’s South Africa task force, Jacobus Boers, lecturer in the Robinson College of Business and a native South African who is also a key member in the university’s South Africa task force, and Dr. Elizabeth Beck, professor in the School of Social Work in the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies.

Upholding the long-standing relationship with the University of Pretoria, Georgia State signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to honor the collaboration between the universities.  Delegates also discussed establishing initiatives in language, economics, social work, geology, and to pave the way for further engagement on policy issues related to megacities.

University of Pretoria, South Africa, Partner Universities, Georgia State University, MOU

Delegates from the University of Pretoria and Georgia State University at the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding.

Since 2002, Georgia State’s Department of Psychology and University of Pretoria’s Centre for Augmentative and Alternative Communication have been partners in a research study on speech and language delays in South African children with neurodevelopmental disorders.  Additionally, the Department of Economics in the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies has facilitated instruction on a graduate degree program in taxation within the University of Pretoria’s African Tax Institute in their Department of Economics.

At the University of Cape Town, the oldest university in South Africa, Georgia State met with ambassadors to revere the partnership with the Robinson College of Business’ Center for the Economic Analysis of Risk.  Georgia State signed a Memorandum of Collaboration with the university’s Research Unit in Behavioural Economics and Nueroeconomics in June 2013, where efforts have focused on collaborating on joint research projects and an annual training workshop/professional development for faculty in economics and risk management.  Future collaborations in the area of business, social work, and city initiatives were also discussed.

An intention to follow-up was supported at the University of Witswatersrand (Wits), where Georgia State’s emissaries discussed city initiatives.  Wits’ Property Studies program has a relationship with Dr. Karen Gibler, faculty in the Robinson College of Business, who serves as a curriculum advisor to the university and reviews their undergraduate and graduate Property Studies Programme.

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Key research areas, such as urban studies and migration, were identified during the delegation’s visit to the University of Johannesburg, where Georgia State’s College of Education has a pending Program Specific Agreement for a student, faculty, and research exchange with the university.  Study abroad opportunities and faculty exchange, as well as scholarship funding for short-term exchange studies, were discussed amongst the delegations at the University of the Western Cape, whom Georgia State’s College of Arts and Sciences has had a Memorandum of Collaboration with since 2005.  The South African officials also showed a great interest in Georgia State’s student success initiatives used to assist first generation college students.

Georgia State’s strategic plan, set forth by Georgia State President Mark Becker in 2011, calls for it to establish ties with universities in selected emerging markets including Brazil, China, Korea, South Africa, and Turkey, to encourage research collaboration, faculty exchanges and student mobility.

This strategic trip, the first organized ensemble to South Africa since its establishment as one of Georgia State’s emerging-market task force countries, served to further advance toward the university’s strategic plan to globalize the university by increasing study abroad participation, faculty exchanges, international recruitment, and collaborative research.  In the coming months, deans and chairs will begin to establish specific initiatives with the visited universities.

The Office of International Initiatives at Georgia State University is responsible for the strategic integration and coordination of the University’s international initiatives, partnerships, grants, program development and management, events and activities, student and scholar services, and study abroad programs.

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