Universiteit Leiden

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South Africa

This is an Erasmus+ International Credit Mobility project of the Faculty of Science with the University of Pretoria.

Project details

Leiden University applicant:

  • Faculty of Science, project coordinator: Marcel de Jeu

Partner institution:

  • University of Pretoria

Type of mobility:

  • student and staff exchange

Project duration:


Project summary

This project proposes mobility between the Mathematics departments of Leiden University and the University or Pretoria in the form of student and staff exchange. Pretoria’s mathematics department is a highly attractive partner in view of its strong research group in Analysis. Analysis is also one of the focal points in Leiden and there are clear thematic matches between the two research groups. Via this project, MSc students from Pretoria will provide Leiden students with an insight into South African society. They will also build a network with future academic and societal leaders in South Africa that will last for decades and be beneficial for all involved.

As a part of its general aim to be an internationally-oriented university, both in terms of research and education, Leiden University strives to maintain and strengthen its historical connections to universities in South Africa. At a strategic organisational level, Leiden nourishes relationships with strong research groups and scouts for talent in South Africa. In this respect, the University of Pretoria’s mathematics department is a highly attractive partner.

The University of Pretoria strives to be a leading research-intensive university in Africa. Like many South African universities, it stimulates its undergraduate students to obtain (part of) their education at universities in Europe or North America. As a high-ranking university, Leiden is an attractive partner for such exchange initiatives. This is even more so in the field of mathematics, which the South African government has identified as a particularly relevant but vulnerable discipline. Dutch university’s collaborate in the so-called Mastermath programme, through which their students can participate in high-level courses taught by specialists free of charge. This exchange programme provides MSc students from Pretoria with the opportunity to follow a wide choice of courses, both at Leiden University and within the Mastermath programme, all of which are taught in English.

Project results

  • The visit to Leiden by four people from Pretoria as a whole was an invigorating experience that gave new impulses to the research and teaching at and between the two institutes. This was also made clear in an interview in the Leiden Newsletter about the Erasmus+ ICM programme; see universiteitleiden.nl/news/2021/11/international-credit-mobility-grant-brings-mathematicians-together-in-leiden
  • SEMINARS: on the occasion of the visit, we organized a functional analysis seminar with participants (MSc students, PhD students, postdocs, faculty) from Pretoria, Leiden, and other cities in the Netherlands in which an advanced book of general interest was studied. See https://www.math.leidenuniv.nl/~jeumfede/fasem_2021.html. Apart from this, we ran a seminar dedicated to research, in which the visitors and people from Leiden gave lectures (there is no web page for this). It was a scientifically intense period.
  • SCIENTIFIC PUBLICATIONS: two papers are in the making
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