Published: 29-11-2012 00:00 | Updated: 13-02-2014 15:44

New collaboration opens for double PhD for students in Sweden and South Africa

A new form of collaboration between Karolinska Institutet, Sweden, and Stellenbosch University in South Africa makes it possible for students to win a double doctoral degree (PhD) awarded by both institutions.

Working for the double doctoral degree will admit students to a PhD programme at both universities, but there will be only one final examination, producing only one thesis. On completing the programme, students will be awarded two equivalent doctoral degrees - one from each institution. PhD students will carry out research at both Karolinska Institutet and Stellenbosch University leading up to the double doctoral degree.

A formal partnership agreement on the new double PhD programme was recently signed by Professor Harriet Wallberg-Henriksson, president of Karolinska Institutet and Professor H. Russel Botman, rector and vice-chancellor of Stellenbosch University.

"Karolinska Institutet has a profound interest in collaborating with Stellenbosch University through educational programmes and in research. The implementation of a double PhD research training programme and a double PhD degree is a good way to increase and formalize collaboration between our institutions", says Harriet Wallberg-Henriksson.

"Stellenbosch University is very proud of the official agreement we have signed with the internationally renowned Karolinska Institute in Sweden to offer double PhD degrees in Health Sciences between die two institutions", says H. Russel Botman.

The double degree programme creates the opportunity for advanced research training and collaboration, as well as impetus to the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences drive to increase its PhD outputs. It will also facilitate staff development and foster internationalisation.

"We are privileged to be able to partner with such a world class university and we look forward to a productive and mutually beneficial relationship", says H. Russel Botman.

Karolinska Institutet and Stellenbosch University has already a tradition of cooperating in single research projects within several fields, including medicine, biomedicine, biophysics, neurosciences, pharmacology, pharmacy and health care sciences. Within ARCADE, an EU-funded development project that aims to enhance the educational and research potential at African Sub-Saharan universities, there is interest in collaborating on doctoral education with Stellenbosch University.

"This agreement will open possibilities for new and extended collaborations for researchers both at Karolinska Institutet and at Stellenbosch University. It will also give an opportunity for our PhD-students to spend time at a university with very high quality research in fields that are important for Karolinska Institutet", says Professor Anders Gustafsson, dean of doctoral education.