Oxford launches South African adventure

October 25, 1996

Oxford University is setting up a range of programmes for South African students and staff, especially those at the historically black institutions.

Oxford was one of the eight British universities which awarded an honorary degree to President Nelson Mandela during his state visit in July.

During a 12 day-tour of South Africa, Peter North, Oxford's vice chancellor, visited eight campuses and met the vice chancellors or deputies of ten universities, a host of business, government and policy-making representatives and scores of Oxonians.

New links between Oxford and local universities, and the strengthening of existing ties, are to follow.

One major new scheme is the Oxford University higher education support programme for South Africa, which is aimed at academic administrators and scholars.

It will enable them to spend time in Oxford looking at university administration and structures, and pursuing curriculum reform, research work or other study.

The scheme will last at least five years and cost Pounds 100,000 a year.

It is designed to help strengthen the management, teaching and research skills of upwardly mobile people in South African higher education, particularly people from disadvantaged backgrounds and institutions.

Dr North said: "We were impressed by the efforts that universities are making in trying to face up to the challenges of transition.

"This programme aims to provide both a management and a scholarship component which we hope will help this process along."

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