The GAPP Youssef Jameel Public Leadership Fellowship and their Study Tour to South Africa
In an effort to maximize international exposure and broaden the horizons of selected fellows, the GAPP Youssef Jameel Public Leadership Fellowship not only covers the funding of a semester exchange abroad at universities with which AUC has signed exchange agreements, but the program also organizes one-week long study tours to different international destinations. Over the past two years, selected groups of students and alumni have visited Morocco and China and spent time visiting universities and public and nonprofit organizations in both countries. This year, over the period from January 7-14, 2019, the study tour was organized in South Africa.
The study tour this time had as a main activity the participation in the International Development and Public Policy Alliance (IDPPA) Annual Conference: Knowledge for Policy-making: From Practice to Theory. The Conference was hosted by the School of Public Leadership (SPL) at Stellenbosch University. All fifteen Jameel Fellows, whose abstracts were accepted by the conference, successfully presented their research in a panel dedicated to international graduate students representing universities from Egypt, China, Russia, Bangladesh and Nigeria. The students’ presentations covered very interesting topics regarding Mainstream Approaches to Policy and Policymaking, Homegrown Development (HGD), and Actionable Knowledge for Policymaking.
After the conference, the group had the chance to do some breathtaking and enlightening cultural site seeing. This included the Slaves Museum, the Cape of Good Hope, the Table Mountain and a Safari park. Twice the group tried to visit Robben island and see the prison cell where Nelson Mandela spent nearly eighteen years of his total 27 years of incarceration, but the stormy wind condition at Cape Point did not allow this to happen and the authorities cancelled the booked ferry trips. To make up for the lost opportunity, the group managed to schedule a visit to the Mandela Legacy Foundation where everyone met the grandson of Nelson Mandela who briefed them about the philanthropic activities of the foundation, and how they are working to preserve his grandfather’s legacy. Many of the study tour participants came back with signed copies of the book ‘Grandad Mandela’ that simplifies the story of Mandela’s struggle against the apartheid system for future generations.
“Organizing study tours for graduate students always adds greatly to their learning experience. What you see for yourself, whom you meet in person and have discussions with, even the challenges faced, are what you get to remember the most, much more than when you read a thousand books,” says Laila El Baradei, Professor of Public Administration and the Faculty Adviser for the Jameel Fellowship.