Strategic internationalisation projects currently being supported by the Office for International Affairs

iKudu Project

An EU-funded Capacity Building in Higher Education (CBHE) project, which will be implemented over a three-year period from 15 November 2019 to 14 November 2022. It is coordinated by the University of the Free State and has the University of Antwerp (Belgium) as co-coordinator. The consortium has been awarded EUR999 881 (approximately R16 million) in funding from the European Union’s Erasmus+ programme. The iKudu project has been conceptualised to develop a contextualised South African concept of Internationalisation of the Curriculum (IoC), which integrates Cooperative Online International Learning (COIL) virtual exchanges. The concept will allow South African partner universities to become the country's leading HEIs in IoC, curriculum transformation, and COIL virtual exchanges. Curriculum decolonisation is understood as a central aspect of curriculum transformation. COIL virtual exchanges will provide an alternative to physical mobility, which cannot be implemented on a broad basis in SA, due to the country’s socioeconomic realities. At the heart of the project is staff capacity development, as it will produce a group of trained teaching staff who will have access to an international and local pool of knowledge, skills, and expertise in the relevant areas.

For more details on the iKudu Project, please consult the project website on the following link: iKudu UFS

Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET)-US-SA Higher Education Network-University Capacity Development Programme

The University of the Free state is part of two DHET USDP projects. The first focuses on Afro-Montane Research and is coordinated on the Qwaqwa Campus.

The second USDP project focuses on Global health and is co-ordinated on the Bloemfontein campus. The University Staff Doctoral Programme (USDP) which falls under the University Capacity Development Programme (UCDP), is a doctoral training programme which aims to develop a cohort of ten academically excellent competent doctoral staff members (five University of the Free State and five University of Venda) in the field of Global Health, who are in addition highly interculturally competent and capacitated to advance academic collaboration between South Africa and US higher education institutions. The project provides funding for clinicians in the field of Global Health to obtain their PhD qualification.

The issues addressed by the project

Global Health is one of the critical issues for the future of the human species especially in Africa where diseases both infectious and non-communicable, threaten development. The University of Virginia (UVa) and the University of Venda (Univen) have a track record of developing academics who are competent to address global health challenges. In more than a decade of collaboration, the universities have successfully developed global health researchers, some of whom are today internationally renowned scientists. The capacity development initiatives, which included a doctoral split-site programme and postdoctoral fellowship programmes, are ongoing and have made a significant contribution towards transformation. The University of the Free State (UFS) as a research-led university has relevant experiences in master's and doctoral training.

The main objectives of the project are as follows:
  • To increase the number of PhD holders in Global Health at UFS and Univen (five per institution)
  • To strengthen cross-border collaboration between the three partner universities thereby diversifying knowledge paradigms
  • To ensure sustainability of the programme through the conceptualisation of spin-off ventures in research collaborations with colleagues in the various institutions
Erasmus+ Key Action 1: Mobility for staff and students

This portfolio can support academic staff and students intending to apply for an Erasmus+ Key Action open call. Key Action 1 supports mobility in the education, training and youth sectors and aims to bring long lasting benefits to the participants and the organisations involved.

This Action is all about providing opportunities for individuals to improve their skills, enhance their employability and gain cultural awareness. Under Key Action 1 organisations can apply for funding to run mobility projects to enable organisations to offer structured study, work experience, job shadowing, volunteering, training and teaching opportunities to staff and learners.

Beneficiaries are able to spend a period of time in another participating country gaining valuable experience of life, study and work with the aim of increasing the opportunities available to them in the future. Key Action 1 covers the five fields of higher education, vocational education and training, schools, adult education and youth. It is important to note that target groups and activities for Key Action 1 vary by field.

Key Action 1 is the largest action in Erasmus+ with 63% of programme budget supporting its focus on increasing mobility and skills.

For more information about this call, please consult the European Union website on:

Click here for USDP FAQ guiding document

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