ADA hosts doctoral students from the continent

About 250 prospective, current and postdoctoral students from across the continent are at Stellenbosch University from 26 June to 7 July. The scholars from countries such as Nigeria, Uganda, Benin, Ethiopia, Kenya, Ghana, and Rwanda are on campus attending the African Doctoral Academy (ADA) Winter School. They will be on campus for two weeks attending workshops ranging from research and methodology to academic preparedness and career development.

We introduce you to some of them: 

Nduku Wambua

Back in 2015 Nduku Wambua heard about the ADA bi-annual doctoral schools and after looking it up, she knew it was the best place to help gather her thoughts about her research area. Reflecting on her first week in Stellenbosch Nduku says, “so far, I can say it has been great, the tutors are wonderful. I don't think I have ever experienced complex information explained in such a simple way. Plus, it's all practical, so you are able to think about your project and refine it in class and get feedback from the tutors and the other delegates. It's great! The delegates are also amazing. I love how we are all from different fields, but seem to be speaking the same language. Plus, they are all friendly and helpful”.

A lecturer and researcher in Kenya, Nduku’s area of study is mental health. She is here among some of the early career fellows who have received funding from the Carnegie Corporation of New York (CCNY) to attend the workshop. Nduku is optimistic that “with the courses I have taken during the workshop, I hope to get a better practical understanding of how I can apply them in my research and the other research work I do. It's like the foundation, once it's done right, the building won't fall”.

Her advice to future PhD students looking for opportunities to enhance their research work. “I would say besides the tutors, learning from the other delegates has been a highlight for me. Africans are hungry for knowledge and to do great things in their communities. It's really been humbling and encouraging.”

Lindiwe Mthethwa

Our 2017 African Doctoral Academy Winter School attracted a large contingent of delegates from South Africa’s 26 public universities. Among those attending are a PhD scholar from KwaZulu-Natal exploring the convergence of digital media, education, science and technology.

One of eight participants from the University of Zululand, Lindiwe enrolled for our Digital Scholar course. The course presented by Prof Wim Van Petegem from KU Leuven, Belgium teaches participants how to use emerging and multimedia technologies to further their research and teaching projects. 
Scared initially that she will be the only novice in her class, Lindiwe now see herself as a true digital scholar. 
“The presentation went above my expectations. I never thought that I will ever make my own blog. It was amazing how the presenters minimize the time and made us all comfortable. The team spirit in the class also made me more relaxed. I will demonstrate what I have learnt in all my academic journey.”

Busy with her PhD in Science and Technology and registered under Philosophy of Education with UNISA, the ADA Winter School course was quite an eye-opener.

“Everything was awesome, to mention a few - creating a video, infographics, sharing relevant sites which are freely accessible, using clickers which are low cost data tools, Kahoot and other exciting games which are educational and also a reminder of handling social media carefully since they portray the long lasting image about the individual. I am really counted as one of the blessed academics to attend the ADA doctoral school.

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