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Wits University and SOAS partner to offer ground-breaking doctoral degree

- Wits University

Wits University and the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) at the University of London join forces to offer a first of its kind PhD.

SOAS Signing

The full-time three-year research degree includes a one-year write-up and will explore heterodox economics or political economy by anchoring the analysis explicitly in African realities and will confront particular conceptual frames with emerging empirical evidence. Whether they focus on a micro or macro-object, these research projects will have systemic and historic analysis in common, taking into account the intersecting social relations, mutations of the state and evolving international political-economic and financial relations.

The PhD in Applied Development Economics pushes the boundaries as a novel offering by two leading institutions from the global south at Wits University and from the north at SOAS in London.

The partnership was formalised through a virtual signing ceremony by the Director of SOAS, Professor Adam Habib, and the Vice-Chancellor and Principal of Wits Professor Zeblon Vilakazi (FRS).

Habib applauded the relationship between the two institutions as a truly equitable partnership. “What we want to do is to establish a partnership that is truly experienced on both sides, one that is co-curriculated, co-taught, co-credentialed and has a singular fee,” said Habib.

Vilakazi agreed with Habib, adding that it is important to have an equal partnership in an unequal world. “This is us sending a message to the world, that we are committed to working together. This partnership showcases that we don’t just have a flight of talent from the global South to the global North, but that we have talent being grown and matured here that is connected to global academy,” said Vilakazi.

SOAS pic 2

(Left to right: Kanina Foss, Dr Satoshi Miyamura, Prof Elisa Van Waeyenberge, Prof Adam Habib, Khadir Meer, Philip Ramge, Dr Ernest Caldwell, Hannah Qurashi)

About SOAS

SOAS is a public research university in London, England that uses its expertise in Africa, Asia and the Middle East as a lens through which to interrogate the planetary questions of today. The institution has a decolonised outlook on education that allows them to strive for a more equal and just world through its teaching and research. 

For the first intake of MPhil/PhD students starting in September 2023, the programme seeks candidates interested in conducting doctoral research on one of the following areas/projects:

Project 1:  Just energy transitions in Africa: what role for private finance?  

Project 2: Gender, work and well-being.

Project 3: Disentangling the nexus between structural transformation and financialisation in Africa.

Project 4: Labour relations, financialisation and technological change in Africa.

Students will need to apply to both institutions via their respective websites by 15 June 2023. Wits Students can apply online. Please note applications are handled centrally by the Student Enrolment Centre (SEnC). Once your application is complete, applications will be referred to the relevant School for assessment. For details on how to apply to SOAS, see the how to apply pages.