Stellenbosch University: Hybrid ADA winter school ushers in return to face-to-face offering

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With the aim to strengthen excellence in doctoral education across Africa, the African Doctoral Academy (ADA) at Stellenbosch University (SU) hosts seasonal doctoral schools as well as monthly webinars. The pandemic forced activities into the online space since the 2020 winter school. However, as the world is slowly emerging from the Covid-19 crisis, the 2022 winter school took place in hybrid format.

The event, hosted from 29 June to 15 July 2022, comprised 12 courses that attracted over 120 participants. Seventeen enrolled for the in-person “Introduction to SPSS” course, which SU’s Dr Cindy Steenekamp presented from 4 to 8 July. Participants received valuable information on using the SPSS (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences) software to analyse their research data. The course content was well received, as the following comments illustrate:

“Attending this ADA course has sparked my interest in statistical data analysis. It has also enlightened me on how to properly structure the questions on my research questionnaire. I can confidently say that I am more knowledgeable now.”

“The course experience was fantastic! The exercises and assignments were appropriate and sealed in my understanding of how to analyse data using SPSS.”

For the remaining 11 courses on offer, participants tuned in online. These courses covered topics such as research methodology, data analysis, writing and publishing, and project management skills.

Despite the immense success of the online ADA schools, participants, organisers and presenters alike are now looking forward to what will hopefully be a fully face-to-face ADA summer school in January 2023. This will again allow for the personal interaction and physical immersion in the beautiful Stellenbosch region that the pre-Covid ADA offerings were known for.

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