A programme launched jointly by the University, Trinity Hall and the Philomathia Foundation will create new research and teaching collaborations with African universities, scholars, and students in the social sciences to help seek solutions to some of the world’s most intractable challenges.
The Philomathia Africa Programme in the Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS) and at Trinity Hall, which has also received a grant from the Isaac Newton Trust, will bring to Cambridge early career researchers and graduate students from Africa who are united by a focus on the question of African Justice and Transformation. The programme will explore topics of crucial contemporary importance, including environmental violence, forced migration, transitional justice, and higher education.
The Programme will also launch a new international research agenda led by the Programme Director, Dr Adam Branch (Director of the Centre of African Studies and Philomathia Fellow at Trinity Hall), titled From Climate Conflict to Climate Justice. It will place climate justice at the centre of the adaptation agenda in Africa, going beyond the view of climate change as a security threat. A major annual conference will share the publications and policy interventions, developed with academic and activist partners across the continent, with a broad international audience.
Professor Phil Allmendinger, Head of the School of the Humanities and Social Sciences, said: “Cambridge is committed to supporting research capacity-building throughout Africa, and this programme will enable talented young social scientists from across the continent to continue developing their research skills. The project will also address key challenges for the twenty-first century through its examination of policies related to climate change, resource conflict, and inequality.”
The Reverend Dr Jeremy Morris, Master of Trinity Hall, said: “This is a really exciting venture for Trinity Hall, in partnership with the University and the Philomathia Foundation, and I look forward to hearing more about the development of the programme in the future. The Philomathia Africa Project has the potential to give African students an unparalleled opportunity to benefit from what Cambridge can offer, and in turn to offer Cambridge their own unique perspective and experience on Africa’s needs. ”
Dr Wilfred Chung, speaking on behalf of the Philomathia Foundation, said: “The Philomathia Foundation is privileged to expand its partnership with the University of Cambridge and Trinity Hall. The Programme is feasible because of the global leadership of the University. Dr Branch is not only an expert but a well-respected academic in African issues and his passion in improving the welfare of Africa will ensure the success of this programme. The support of Trinity Hall is essential in allowing the future African leaders to get a true Cambridge experience. It is our hope that this programme will also arouse additional interest in Cambridge in the research of African issues.”
The Philomathia Foundation was established in 2004 by the Chung brothers, and is a private charitable organisation that is registered in both Canada and Hong Kong. The Foundation’s mission is to promote human values and science through education and research. It has previously partnered with the University of Cambridge to establish the Philomathia Social Sciences Research Programme.