|Lecturer Exchange Programme a realisation|
|Written by Melissa Mungroo|
Lecturer Exchange Programme a realisation
Words and picture by Melissa Mungroo
The Centre for Communication, Media and Society (CCMS) welcomed Swedish lecturers Professor Eva Ekstrand and Professor Anna Edin from the University of Gavle as they participated in the Linnaeus-Palme international exchange programme for 2012.
The programme aims to stimulate cooperation between universities in Sweden and developing countries such as South Africa. The University of Gavle and the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) have already established a decade-long partnership with the initial stage of planning visits already completed.
The second stage of the programme has seen both Ekstrand and Edin being placed at the CCMS for almost a month where they are involved in teaching and supervising students at master’s level.
‘Our time at CCMS has been very nice. Everyone here is so welcoming and hospitable,’ said Ekstrand. She added that being at the CCMS has been an enriching, learning experience.
Both Ekstrand and Edin have also presented at the CCMS weekly research seminars in which postgraduate students intently listened to their presentations and thereafter bombarded them with questions. Ekstrand discussed her research into internet usage in Sweden and sustainable development while Edin talked about communicating politics and the different theoretical perspectives.
‘The response to our seminars has been very good. The students here are very ambitious, skilled in their research and they expressing their views well. It really is a pleasure to supervise and teach them,’ said Edin. She added that she too has learnt quite a lot from the students. ‘We learn from them every day because they’re so interested in different subjects and they’re also open-minded.’
CCMS Master’s student, Mariclair Smith has enjoyed the seminars and lectures with the visiting lecturers, pointing out that they had also been instrumental in providing a different perspective to her research into social media. ‘At my initial master’s draft proposal stage, Eva Ekstrand gave me advice and also managed to critique my work and I found that to be very helpful,’ she said.
Another master’s student, Sana Ebrahim also noted that it was fascinating to learn about both Edin and Ekstrand’s research. ‘It definitely broadened my knowledge base,’ she stated.
The visiting lecturers are also planning to squeeze in some time to do a bit of sight-seeing in Durban. ‘Although we are busy with tutoring and our studies at the moment, but we’ll definitely explore Durban especially the South Coast,’ said Ekstrand.
Driving on the roads of Durban has also been a fun experience for them. ‘It’s a bit strange to drive on the left side of the road when we are accustomed to driving on the right. But we’re getting there,’ stated Ekstrand. However, between fits of giggles, Edin admitted that she still cringes when she’s behind the wheel, and has to drive her vehicle on the left side of the road.
While CCMS lecturers Professor Ruth Teer-Tomaselli and Dr Lauren Dyll-Myklebust are at the University of Gavle in Sweden, a new grant has been approved for the last stage of the Linnaeus-Palme international exchange programme in which students from Sweden and UKZN will each spend a semester at these two universities to gain international experience and an understanding of other cultures.
Furthermore, the four lecturers are scheduled to meet and reflect on their experiences in Stockholm on the 16 March 2012.