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WITS-TUB Urban Lab

The Wits-TUB Urban Lab Programme is built on a partnership agreement between the University of Witwatersrand (Wits) and the Technische Universität Berlin (TUB). 

The collaboration seeks to contribute to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of 2015 and the New Urban Agenda (NUA) of 2016 on the sub-Saharan African continent. The New Urban Agenda (NUA) in particular calls for integrated approaches in urban planning and management as a central element of an “Urban Paradigm Shift”.  It recognises the need for institutional capacity development as an important “enabling condition”.

The Wits TUB-Urban makes its contribution through a ‘Postgraduate SDG School’, in the form of an enhancement of the postgraduate training offered in the School of Architecture and Planning at Wits (a leading university on this continent) in close collaboration with the Habitat Unit at TUB.

The programme enables scholars from across the sub-continent to partake in masters and PhD studies at Wits, and in the course of its 4 year duration engages in curriculum development and the introduction of new teaching modules. The programme is designed to facilitate international exchange of ideas between research institutions and includes strengthening the network of urban academics on the African continent.

The Wits-TUB Urban Lab programme is funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) for the period of 2016 through to the end of 2020.   


The first cohort of full time masters' bursaries for students from South Africa and other sub-Saharan African countries were awarded bursaries in late 2016 for study in 2017. The call for 2018 masters' bursaries has closed and selection is underway. A cohort of 5 PhD students was selected for bursaries for full time study starting mid 2017. One further PhD bursary for a South African female candidate will be advertised with study commencing in February 2018. Updates on all bursary calls can be found here.

Current Masters Bursaries are for the following 1 year full time degrees:

  • Master of Architecture in the field of Sustainable and Energy Efficient Cities (MArch (SEEC))
  • MSc Development Planning (MSc DP)
  • Master of the Built Environment in the field of Housing (MBE (Housing))
  • Masters of Urban Studies (MUS)

Under the Wits-TUB Urban Lab, the School of Architecture and Planning at Wits University is streamlining the above degrees. A marketing drive in 2018 will advertise the revised degree offering that will be in place as of 2019. Work is also underway in collaboration with TUB to develop the curriculum for an Urban Management focused master’s degree.

At TUB, the programme falls under the leadership of Professor Philipp Misselwitz and at Wits University Professor Mfaniseni Sihlongonyane, with Professor Marie Huchzermeyer as second Principal Investigator. The project coordinators at TUB are Dr Anna Steigemann and Jakub Galuszka and at Wits is Taki Sithagu.

For enquiries please contact Wits-TUB Project Coordinator: Ms Taki Sithagu on: Email: taki.sithagu@wits.ac.za; Tel: +27 11 717 7724


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