Bayreuth University’s experience in African studies has shown that the only reasonable way to undertake research on Africa is to carry it out “together with Africa”. Close cooperation between Bayreuth and Universities in Africa as well as intensive collaboration among German and individual African scholars is already a reality.
BIGSAS aims to integrate fields of academic excellence in Africa with the leading edge of international research. Its goal is to bring together young African and non-African scholars of comparable quantity and high quality to work on inter- and multidisciplinary topics. In close institutional cooperation with five partner universities from North, South, West and East Africa, excellent young African researchers will be selected and given the opportunity to work in a stimulating multidisciplinary academic environment. On the one hand, a lively academic exchange on Africa will take place between African and non-African young scholars and will challenge mutual understanding, research ideas and common reflections to the past, the present and the future. On the other hand, scholars from different parts of Africa will come and work together. After completing their education they will form the cornerstone for African networking. The promotion of networking and cultivation of networks is crucial for future academic and scientific development in Africa, as experience with Humboldtians has shown.
In Africa five universities among the 29 universities with whom Bayreuth has academic exchange will form the focus of cooperation for BIGSAS. The choice of these African universities is connected with the prospective concentration of large-scale systematic cooperation. They will take over the responsibility of coordinating the selection of young scholars for BIGSAS from a wider region than their operating area.
The Universities are:
The choice of these universities is connected with their high level of education and their genuine wish to scientifically develop towards an excellent global level, with the existing academic contacts and exchange between the respective universities and a range of different faculties and disciplines in Bayreuth, with the possibility to cover the Arabic, English, French and Portuguese speaking parts of Africa, and with the political stability of the respective countries.