Two NWU students part of exchange programme with Norway

Issued by
North West, Dec 9, 2015

An exchange programme between the North-West University and Genok, a centre for biosafety in Norway, provides four postgraduate students with the opportunity to start their master's degree studies in South Africa and Norway this year.

Two students of the NWU, Kabelo Stenger and Tamryn van der Merwe, will spend their first year of research for their MSc under the supervision of Dr Odd-Gunnar Wikmark at Genok in Tromso, Norway. Two Norwegian students, Nina Mjolsnes and Marit Kjaervik from Genok, will continue their postgraduate studies under the supervision of Prof Carlos Bezuidenhout of the subject group Microbiology at the Potchefstroom Campus of the NWU.

Genok (Centre for Gene Ecology ) and the NWU have a partnership with Fredskorpset in Norway and assist with the overall objectives of Norway's co-operation with developing countries in order to contribute to the permanent improvement of the economic, social and political circumstances of people in those countries.

Bezuidenhout said that the programme has been running for some years now with funding from Fredskorpset. During 2014/15, 12 students were part of the exchange programme that included the NWU, Genok and the Federal University of Santa Catarina, Florianopolis in Brazil.

Three NWU students, Hermoine Venter, Earl Forbes and Heinrich Odendaal, recently returned after their research year at Genok, and will continue their postgraduate studies at the NWU.

The four new students in the exchange programme met one another during a preparatory course in Entebbe in Uganda. This gave them the opportunity to learn more about the culture and customs of the countries.

Kabelo Stenger grew up in Potchefstroom and completed his schooling at the Seiphemelo Secondary School in Ikageng. Tamryn van der Merwe comes from Pretoria and completed her matric at the Overkruin High School.

Genok is a centre for biosafety that was established in 1998 and is a non-commercial foundation that is situated in the research environment of the Arctic University of Norway. The foundation undertakes research on the environment, health and the social consequences of genetic engineering and genetic adaptations.

Expert name: Prof Carlos Bezuidenhout, 018 299 2315, [email protected]