Ms Unathi Beku and Mr Nkeka Tseole.

Two postgraduate students from the School of Built Environment and Development Studies (BEDS), Ms Unathi Beku and Mr Nkeka Tseole, have returned from a month-long intensive course on social research techniques at the University of Michigan in the United States.

Funding for their visit was arranged by the SARChi Chair in Economic Development, Professor Dori Posel.

The students, who described the course as ‘intensive’, felt the tools they had acquired would help them not only in research for their current studies but also in their future careers.

Said Mandela Rhodes scholar Beku: ‘The course was informative and relevant to our research topics. It offered us the opportunity to network and build research connections for future academic collaborations. We also managed to learn a lot from our student counterparts and the teaching staff.’

Tseole added: ‘We managed to visit research organisations and saw first-hand the data collection and analysis procedures. This course has allowed us to build our confidence in research and I would encourage other students from UKZN to apply for such initiatives.’

The students were grateful to Posel for arranging and funding the visit in her capacity as SARChI Chair of Economic Development. ‘We can never thank her enough for this once in a lifetime opportunity,’ they said.