SANORD Scholarship Programme Enables Southern African Students to Expand Their Horizons
​Emmanuel Makwaiba from the University of Western Cape is content with the courses he is taking at the Faculty of Law, since the take on law is more advanced.

​Daniel Ndongo, student of biochemistry, is currently studying drug discovery and development at the Department of Pharmacology. Emmanuel Makwaiba specialises in the harmonisation of corporate governance laws in South Africa and is finalising his Master’s thesis. He is currently taking courses in international law at the Faculty of Law.

Makwaiba immediately sees some similarities between Turku and Cape Town, where he his home university is located.

- Turku is a little like Cape Town and I like that. Life is slower in these cities than in Helsinki or Johannesburg, for instance, he sums up.

When asked whether they have had a chance to mix with Finns, Ndongo explains that half of his colleagues are Finns and the other half is international. Makwaiba adds that staying in a dorm with many exchange students helps the process of settling in in a country.

- Luckily my tutor has been very helpful and has introduced me to Finns as well, he continues cheerfully.

Studies in Finland Are a Valuable Asset

Both Ndongo and Makwaiba are satisfied with the University of Turku, its facilities and the level of teaching. Both are able to study something their home universities do not offer.

- I am impressed by the lab set-up. You have so much useful equipment that we do not yet have in Namibia, Ndongo states.

- My time here has been quite enlightening. I’ve has a chance to study law from a new perspective. An example is proactive law, which concerns other methods besides legislation to make sure laws are complied with, tells Makwaiba.
Understanding phenomena from different angles is something both students value.

- You’re not a complete individual if you do not understand all sides to the law, Makwaiba continues.

Daniel Ndongo from the University of Namibia is especially interested in the possibilities that medicinal plants can offer.

A New Environment Brings Out Differences

Reflecting on the differences between Southern Africans and Finns, Ndongo and Makwaiba appreciate the efficiency and time management skills of Finns.

- It’s easy to access things because there is a level of professionalism, estimates Makwaiba.

On the other hand, to Africans, Finns might not seem the happiest people. When asked what Finns could learn from Africans, Ndongo answers:

- You could smile more!

In Africa, there is a lot of interaction and people tend to be more social and extrovert. This might be reflected also in the learning environment: one of the things that both students have had to get used to, are the 2-hour lectures instead of interaction in smaller groups.

- Then again, we come from different backgrounds. Here, I cannot expect people to be like me, Ndongo points out.
Ndongo and Makwaiba agree that the experience has been very valuable. Ndongo believes that participating in the SANORD programme will help him to succeed and achieve his goals in life. Makwaiba stresses that he wants to make a difference in his continent.

- These studies will help me to write publications on topics we have never explored before. Hopefully these experiences will help me to develop my continent in terms of trade and investments, outlines Makwaiba.

The Southern African-Nordic Centre (SANORD) is a partnership of higher education institutions that grants partial scholarships for students from Southern African institutions of higher education and research to study between 3 to 5 months at a Nordic university. The primary aim of SANORD is to promote multilateral research co-operation on matters of importance to the development of both regions.

Lassi Yli-Muilu

Published date 12/4/2015 10:15 AM ,  Modified date 12/4/2015 10:21 AM

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