UWC announces the Brian O’Connell African Scholar Fund​

A new fund launched by The Atlantic Philanthropies and The Kresge Foundation aims to inspire a new generation of South African scientists, while further establishing the University of the Western Cape as a leading research centre.

UWC announces the Brian O’Connell African Scholar Fund​

The endowed Scholar Fund, launched by The Atlantic Philanthropies and The Kresge Foundation in honour of recently retired UWC rector, Prof Brian O’Connell, will support the cost each year of bringing two to five English-speaking scientists of black African descent from anywhere in the world to UWC. The visiting scholars will participate in research and research capacity development, curriculum and instruction, community engagement and co-curricular activities.

Professor Brian O’Connell says the Scholar Fund will allow the next generation of South African scientists, researchers and innovators to learn from and be inspired by the world’s leading African and international scholars and scientists.

“Our challenge is to shift the minds of the majority of South Africans to embrace change through science, in the shortest possible time and with the help of the best possible models” notes O’Connell. “We believe that can best be accomplished through exposure to English-speaking scientists of African descent, young and old, from all over the world.”

Under the leadership of Prof O’Connell, the University of the Western Cape is now rated top 10 on the African continent and 100 among post-secondary institutions in the group of BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) nations.

The Scholar Fund is a truly innovative approach that addresses the issue of transformation in academia, while simultaneously strengthening the reputation of UWC as a research institution. Serving both masters has proved difficult for South African institutions of higher learning. Prof O'Connell reminds us that we do not have to sacrifice excellence to achieve uplift.

Read the full article, Brian O’Connell African Scholar Fund, on the UWC website.

Read more about the Visiting African Scholar Fund.