UOL's ambassador for the Nelson Mandela University

Karsten Speck

+49 (0)441 798-2174

International Office contact


Jenka Schmidt

+49 (0)441 798-2479

Regional Coordinator NON-EU

Roman Behrens

+49 (0)441 798-4266


As part of the partnership between Lower Saxony and the Eastern Cape Province (South Africa), the Ministry of Science and Culture of the State of Lower Saxony has provided annual financial support for the partnership between the Schools of Education at Nelson Mandela University and the University of Oldenburg. This has enabled students, early career researchers and academics to visit the partner institutions, exchange ideas and collaborate in research, teaching, and other activities. The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) has supported the partnership over the past 20 years by financing various co-operation projects, which were jointly prepared and applied for by educators from the University of Oldenburg and Nelson Mandela University. Another factor in the productive and beneficial partnership that has developed over the past 25 years has been the support and commitment of both university managements, who have provided resources, infrastructure, time and expertise.

In addition to individual travel grants and scholarships for academics and students, our Schools of Education have jointly organised and successfully delivered:

  • Postgraduate Research Academies,
  • Short visits / capacity building seminars for academic and senior staff,
  • the development and delivery of online modules for postgraduate students and staff, e.g. in academic writing, supervision, research coherence and methodology,
  • research colloquia and round table discussions
  • Conferences and
  • research projects (e.g. on drama in education, HIV and AIDS education, skills-based curricula, third mission of universities/university engagement).

In addition, there are numerous overlaps with other subject areas in the humanities and social sciences in which the colleagues at Nelson Mandela University and the University of Oldenburg want to cooperate and in which an exchange and joint activities could be beneficial for both sides. For example, the DAAD-funded project "Dimensions of Diversity in Teacher Education", which was launched in 2019, aims to promote the internationalisation of teacher education in the long term. The University of Oldenburg and Nelson Mandela University have successfully collaborated with two Dutch partners, Rijksuniversiteit Groningen and NHL Stenden, to facilitate stays abroad and virtual mobilities. In addition to traditional student exchanges, successful hybrid formats have been developed and established, such as summer and winter schools, virtual lectures, joint classroom studies as part of the digital online learning experience "Teaching Across Borders" and Lunch Time Talks. Prospective teachers participating in the exchange were and are supported both before and after their mobility, e.g. through intercultural training and the use of digital tools. Learning and working together is an effective way for students from the University of Oldenburg and Nelson Mandela University to become aware of the many dimensions of diversity in teacher training and to better prepare them for their professional lives as teachers. The activities also make an important contribution to the "Internationalisation at home" initiative. The disciplines involved, which have also expressed an interest in future collaboration, include: Educational Science and Special Needs Education, English/American Studies, German Studies, Dutch Studies and Musicology, as well as Biology and Chemistry; other subjects could be added in the future. By integrating new players and perspectives into the projects while continuing successful formats of cooperation, the partner institutions have agreed to create a sustainable framework for exchange and dialogue in the field of education beyond the duration of the project.

(Planned) activities in the areas of research, teaching, capacity development and engagement


Objectives Measures

Engagement in higher education, digitalisation, sex education, climate education and sustainability

Publications, co-supervision of doctoral candidates, research exchange visits, applying for research funding


Research methods in education, academic written and graphic presentations, writing for publication, coherence in research

Summer schools, joint offer of online modules for postgraduate students
Capacity building

Intensification of mutual research, innovative research methods

Short stays for academic staff


Commitment Community schools, social work, sustainable development goals Strengthening partnerships with schools, educators, NGOs and other stakeholders, internships, participatory action research
(Changed: 05 Jun 2024)  | 
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