A delegation from the University of Zululand’s Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS) recently attended a public lecture held in Parliament in Cape Town, as part of the department’s efforts to bridge the gap between theory and practice of International Relations for postgraduate students and staff alike.
The public lecture on Wednesday last week, had been jointly organised by the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) and the Department of International Relations and was addressed by deputy minister Luwellyn Landers from DIRCO.
The five-member delegation from UNIZULU was led by Acting HOD in the Department of Politics and International Studies Dr Lucky E. Asuelime. The delegation included three members of staff and two students. “A student each was selected from Masters and PhD category (Registered for International Relations only) and determined by the progress in their research projects,” said Dr Asuelime.
The UNIZULU delegation took part in what has been described as a “robust and meaningful” engagement with the deputy minister whose talk focused on the South Africa’s foreign policy priorities for the 21st Century
“We were invited there to understand South Africa’s core principles on how it intends to interact with other countries and continents in areas that have both domestic and international implications,” Dr Asuelime explained further.
Describing his experience of the trip, Sphephelo Zubane a Master’s student said being part of the public lecture had provided the students with an opportunity to not only learn but to also contribute towards how DIRCO works.
“The Deputy Minister of DIRCO’s speech was very intriguing to me as it was a reflection of what I was taught by my lecturers on the S.A foreign policy analysis module. As a result, this gave me great pleasure to know that the content of the modules offered in my faculty is industry relevant, thus, I am confident of being employed after my postgraduate study at UNIZULU”
Another student, Adekoye Raquel Abimbola who is pursuing a PhD in International Relations described the trip as successful. “This experience showed the importance of travelling as we interacted with notable personalities that are central to South Africa’s political development. As a student of Politics and International Relations, it was as if my mind received a new birth and I am now able to bridge the gap between the theory I learn at UNIZULU and the practices it actually entails”.