The KU Leuven/Stellenbosch University Think Tank was established in 2015 as part of the preferential partnership agreement between KU Leuven and Stellenbosch University. The programme is coordinated by Stellenbosch University International with a steering committee at both institutions. The FVZSI forms part of the steering committee. Annually +/- 15 postgraduate academic achievers are selected to participate in the Think Tank for students from KU Leuven in Belgium. During the year (from February to November) students meet frequently to engage with academic experts and share their perspectives on the chosen topic. This process of critical engagement primarily supports the principles of an interdisciplinary approach, and secondly supports the students' academic rigor to critically reflect and assess their own views and constructively apply their knowledge.
A theme for each year guides the selection of the experts and, ultimately, the end-of-year outcome that the students deliver. To facilitate cooperation and cross-cultural interaction, the students meet during April (on a rotating basis) and, for the production of their final product, in late November or early December (the return visit).
The Think Tank, by offering students an intercultural/international experiential learning experience, aims to empower the next generation of academic leaders with the skills required to perform as scholars in an interdisciplinary research setting and a globally connected world.
The Think Tank therefore differs from other international cultural exchanges in primarily two ways:
1. It is aimed at top academic achievers who demonstrate the potential to continue their postgraduate studies internationally, and
2. It is an intensive time investment (for both students and staff) as this one-year programme concludes with a showcase of the experiential learning that took place.
The Think Tank 2.0 is currently being reviewed with more international partners. For more information please contact Werner de Wit at Stellenbosch University International at firstname.lastname@example.org