Habitat Unit

November 16 – 18,  2016 | School of Architecture and Planning, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg

Curriculum workshop: Wits – TUB Urban Lab Interdisciplinary Bilateral Postgraduate Studies Programme

The School of Architecture and Planning at Wits University and Habitat Unit at the Technical University of Berlin commenced a 4-year Wits-TUB Urban Lab Interdisciplinary Bilateral Postgraduate Studies Programme for sub-Saharan Africa in September 2016. The Wits-TUB Urban Lab seeks to improve graduate education in urban fields across sub-Saharan Africa and to develop an augmented urban-oriented graduate and postgraduate training and capacity building programme that would effectively support implementation of urban-oriented objectives outlined in Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and New Urban Agenda (NUA). It is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation (BMZ) and Development and German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) via the Bilateral SDG Graduate Schools initiative.

The main component of the Wits-TUB Urban Lab is the gradual implementation of SDG oriented postgraduate curriculum reform at the School of Architecture and Planning at Wits. As a preparatory step for the reform, an expert curriculum workshop took place from 16 November to 18 November 2016. The main objectives of the workshop were to familiarise a wider network of relevant stakeholders with the programme and to solicit inputs on the main challenges and opportunities in graduate education in sub-Saharan Africa. The deliberations are expected to support development of solid foundations for the curriculum reform and its applicability beyond Southern Africa. The Wits-TUB Urban Lab project was also officially launched on the evening of 16 November.

photo_Wits-TU Berlin

The workshop involved staff of Habitat Unit at the Technical University of Berlin, School of Architecture and Planning, University of the Witwatersrand as well as postgraduate student representatives from the School of Architecture and Planning. We were joined by a representative from City of Johannesburg, the South African Council for Town and Regional Planners (SACAP), the Association of African Planning Schools (AAPS), the African Urban Research Initiative (AURI) as well as a few representatives of partner universities from South Africa and sub-Saharan Africa.