Research and knowledge production feeds directly into Africa's socioeconomic development through formulating new models, technologies, systems and policies to address intractable challenges that face our continent, such as poverty, hunger and global warming. Within the global knowledge economy, Africa sorely needs many more and many better qualified researchers and educators. Across the continent, resources and capacity to train scholars and to enable them to contribute significantly are thinly spread. Interventions to overcome these challenges are therefore crucial.
Serving as a vehicle for scholarship development on the continent, the Joint Schools in Africa programme of Stellenbosch University's Africa Centre for Scholarship commenced in 2016. The schools – which focus primarily on post-doctoral and early career researchers – are presented jointly by staff members from a hosting African partner institution and Stellenbosch University. The Schools typically take place over one week with one or two courses presented simultaneously. The focus is on providing generic, transferable research skills training for emerging scholars across all disciplines. Schools provide modules on advanced research methods, grant writing, doctoral supervision, teaching and learning in higher education, research leadership, and leadership in academia, research ethics and digital technology.
- 2016–2017, 380 delegates participated in nine Joint Schools organised and co-hosted by the ADA and held at Makerere University (Uganda), University of Malawi and University of Namibia with the assistance of funding by the Carnegie Corporation of New York to the ADA.
- 2018-2019, 280 delegates participated in nine Joint Schools presented at Ardhi University (Tanzania) (in partnership with PERI-PERI U), University of Lagos (Nigeria), Makerere University (Uganda), Mekelle University (Ethiopia) (in partnership with KU Leuven, Belgium), Strathmore University (Kenya) and University of Rwanda (Rwanda).
- In 2019 a project was launched with three Ethiopian partner universities (Mekelle, Arba Minch and Bahir Dar) in collaboration with KU Leuven (Belgium) and the first School was held at Mekelle University.
- In 2020, the ACS supported Stellenbosch University's
School for Data Science Winter School as well as
PERI-PERI U to host its Research Methods School with United Nations Development Programme and co-hosted a webinar on Decolonising Research Methods with Durham University, UK.