Stellenbosch-Leipzig University Partnership

"When I visited Stellenbosch University as part of a delegation from Leipzig University in 1997 first I found myself at a University in transformation. The majority of the people I met were committed to the “South African experiment” and ready to open their doors to the international scientific community. Both partners, Leipzig and Stellenbosch, have developed since then positively and use each other as priority partners for international research and teaching. Leipzig University is proud to have such a renowned “friend” at the Cape and is ready to develop that partnership further along its internationalization plan."

Dr Svend Poller

Leipzig University
Director of the International Centre


The partnership between Stellenbosch and Leipzig University deserves special reference for many reasons. It is a successful partnership example for the development of reciprocal fertile academic contacts in many different aspects.


  1. For the institutional intergration:
    Joint Programmes integrate different curricula at both universities, such as German and German as a Foreign Language or Global Studies and Poitical Sciences. Such integrated study programmes establish the strongest link and commitment between two institutes and even across the faculty border and towards academic networks.
  2. For the diversity:
    The number of involved academic fields is notable: collaboration ranged from Chemistry, Theology, Economics to German as a Foreign Language and Global Studies to Sustainable development.
    The collaboration in teaching is complemented by joint research projects.
    The cooperation is carried out bilaterally as well as within consortia (Global Studies, EUROSA).
  3. For the history:
    Since 1997, the partnership has been built up systematically. The University of Stellenbosch was nominated as the South African partner of Leipzig University by a group of scientists and adminstrative staff members at Leipzig. It was a mutual and a grass-root democratic decision that bears ever more successful results. Despite and because of all the entanglements of both universities in the different past political systemes and their aim to re-position themselves anew in a changed society, its challenges and contributions depict another linking element between Leipzig and Stellenbosch.

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