Stellenbosch University
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SU seminar promotes research collaboration across universities
Author: Michael Meyer
Published: 28/05/2024

In a concerted effort to reignite research endeavours and foster collaboration across the Western Cape, the Department of Economics at Stellenbosch University (SU) recently hosted the Intervarsity Postgraduate Research Seminar. This event marked its ongoing contribution to social impact efforts in the province to increase awareness and continual revival of the Postgraduate Student Community after the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted academic activities four years ago.

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The seminar is intended to develop students' skills to communicate their research and respond to critical questioning, as well as foster collaborative relationships beyond their own institutions; these elements are vital to promote research impact and furthering the careers of young researchers.

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A sentiment emphasised by Professor Ada Jansen, Chair of the Department of Economics at SU in her keynote at the event. She underscored the “significance of effective communication skills in articulating research ideas, connecting with peers who share common research interests, and networking to obtain feedback from the regional community” as all essential elements for producing high-quality research outputs.

Throughout the day, 11 postgraduate students from SU, the University of Cape Town (UCT), and the University of the Western Cape (UWC) showcased their research projects through in-person public presentations, followed by lively discussions on diverse research themes and cross-cutting topics including, the long-run neutrality of money; inflation dynamics; alleviating poverty; and financial innovation and economic growth amongst others.

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Students were able to receive invaluable feedback from SU senior academic staff and established researchers from the department's centres, including, the Laboratory for the Economics of Africa’s Past (LEAP), Research on Socioeconomic Policy (ReSEP), and Monetary Economics.

Those in attendance were visibly enthused. Sinead Morrow of SU who presented on, “A critique of the long-run neutrality of money: A case study of South Africa”, commented on her experience of the seminar, “I did find it incredibly helpful. Thank you so much! Very happy to have gotten positive feedback from everyone. Thank you for all the help.”

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With 140 delegates from the three universities, the Intervarsity Postgraduate Research Seminar was an overwhelming success.

SU organisers of the seminar, Michael J. Meyer and Kholekile Malindi were thrilled by the success of the event. Meyer commented: “the seminar has had a significant social impact by equipping students with invaluable skills in communicating their research and fostering shared learning experiences. We look forward to the next iteration.”