USAID / SAAI South African Area Initiative

The Center for Global Studie South Africa Area Initiative. Executive Summary: In response to the Education for Development and Democracy Initiative, Chicago State University (CSU) proposes to create the South Africa Area Initiative (SAAI). This initiative will be a key component of our existing Center for Global Studies.

The SAAI will expand CSU's international linkages, with three South African Historically Disadvantaged Institutions (HDIs): the University of Zululand, Durban Umlazi Campus; Mangosuthu Technikon; and Umlazi Technical College. The Initiative will establish a partnership with three overarching goals:

  1. To assist, through educational and community development strategies, with completing the transformation of South Africa from an apartheid regime to a free-market, democratic and multi-racial society;
  2. T improve the level and quality of education offered by the South African HDIs in an effort to enhance the quality of life of its citizenry while internationalizing CSU offerings; and
  3. To mutually and collectively enrich the respective academic enterprises of CSU and the     selected HDIs.

Chicago State University's President, Dr. Elnora D. Daniel, traveled to South Africa in May of 2000. During her discussion with education administrators, she was able to assess some critical educational needs that can be specifically addressed in South Africa. Her assessments revealed educational solutions than can be collaboratively developed. An international teleconference on December 14, 2000, between CSU and South African educational leaders, successfully laid further groundwork for the SAAI. The commitment is strong among the three selected South African institutions. They are enthusiastic about developing a mutually beneficial educational project, using different educational approaches, expanded research, and faculty and student exchange programs. A strategic fit is evident between the selected institutions and the established SAAI goals and objectives. The four objectives for SAAI are to:

  1. Create an infrastructure for offering international learning experiences to students matriculating at Chicago State University (CSU) and three selected South African   Historically Disadvantaged Institutions (HDIs).
  2. Implement collaborative linkages between CSU and selected South African HDIs to mutually strengthen the academic disciplines, administrative structures and community development activities of the participating institutions.
  3. Conduct collaborative student and staff/faculty exchange programs, study abroad programs, and other training or research opportunities for CSU and selected HDI faculty members/staff to strengthen international understanding, skills, and knowledge of South African and American cultures.
  4. Offer distance education programs between CSU and the selected South African HDIs that will enable course offerings, certificate programs and academic degrees to be offered between the participating institutions.