Criteria for concluding a new joint degree agreement:
decisions are to be taken with which foreign university joint degrees
can be offered by Stellenbosch University, the following six
requirements as a whole must be met in a substantial manner:It
must fit in within the vision and mission of Stellenbosch University
and contribute to attaining the goals of Stellenbosch University;Stellenbosch University must benefit from the complementarity of the particular foreign university;The foreign university must have the appropriate expertise in the research area in which the joint degree can be awarded;Stellenbosch
University must have the appropriate
expertise in the research area in which the joint degree can be awarded;There must be reasonable prospects of student movement to and from Stellenbosch University and the foreign university;The
number of agreements for the awarding of joint degrees are
strictly limited to agreements which have reasonable prospects of
sustainability and active functioning based on a proven track record of
collaboration between the institutions.
What is required to put a new joint degree in place:
If a new joint degree agreement is required, the request must be initiated by the supervisor of the prospective PhD student and must fulfil the criteria mentioned above.Entering into a new joint degree agreement on behalf of a single candidate as a once-off arrangement is not possible.There is a set of documents that is required for any new joint degree agreement. These documents are developed in collaboration with the prospective partner institution and must be approved by both institutions. At Stellenbosch University, for each joint degree agreement there must usually
- an institutional Memorandum of Understanding in place with the partner university;
general framework agreement which governs the award of joint degrees
between the partners, usually across all Faculties but which is
non-specific to any individual student; and
- a candidate
agreement which is usually unique to an individual student and specifies
how the different elements of the general framework agreement will
apply to the individual's project and case.
Joint degree arrangements require a substantial matching of processes, rules and regulations and take a considerable amount of time to negotiate new cases. Where there is an existing general framework agreement, it is usually straightforward to conclude a candidate agreement because the basic principles are already agreed. It is therefore preferable to contemplate joint degree agreements with existing partners. At Stellenbosch University, new joint degree agreements must be considered and recommended/declined by a Joint Degree Committee (JDC). The JDC meets on an ad-hoc basis, which allows for new agreements to be considered regularly, subject to demand and the availability of the JDC members. The decisions of the JDC are reported by the Postgraduate Office, via the Academic Planning Committee to Senate (for information purposes).A joint degree involves time spent by the student at
both institutions. From a student perspective, there are thus several costs that must be taken into account, including travel expenses, the cost of accommodation and living abroad, visa and insurance costs. From a supervisor's perspective, factors which may add significantly to
the cost of funding a joint degree, are the requirement for the student to pay fees at
the partner (if they are a bursary-recipient locally), the constitution of the joint examination committee and funding the travel of examiners to ensure their presence at the defense (panels are often larger than usual and most, if not all
examiners must be physically present at the examination and defence),
Stellenbosch University's existing joint degree partners:
list of institutions with whom we can enrol joint PhD degree candidates
is not fixed but it is limited. New agreements are negotiated from time
to time and therefore this list will change. Not all the agreements are
applicable to all prospective candidates.
|Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR)
|Friedrich Schiller University of Jena (FSU)
|Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen
|Reutlingen University (Master's
|Université de Bordeaux
|Université de Montpellier
|University of Göttingen (Master's only)*
|University of Groningen
|University of Hamburg
|University of Leipzig (includes Master's*)
|Università degli Studi di Padova
|Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VUA)
|Vrije Universiteit Brussel
|Université Toulouse III - Paul Sabatier
|Université Clermont Auvergne
What you need to know to do a joint degree with an existing partner:
- As the supervisor, you
need to find a supervisor from an existing partner university with whom we have an agreement for joint degrees who is interested and willing to jointly supervise a student with you.
- Once there is agreement between the supervisors, the student concerned must apply and be admitted at both institutions.
candidate agreement must be concluded between the partners for the student in
which a number of important things are addressed, such as how much time
the student will spend at each institution, how their enrolment at both
institutions will be financed and who will bear the cost of assembling
the joint examination committee. Templates are available per partner institution.
need to be aware of the costs involved and make allowance for these to sustain the student's participation in the joint degree, unless the student is self-funded. In this case, the student needs to ensure that they have sufficient funds in order to fulfil their obligations to be present at the partner institution for the minimum required time.