Coming from Stellenbosch University and spending six months at Oxford as part of my LL.D. has been a truly remarkable experience. With generous funding made available by the Aall Foundation, a visiting studentship became a reality. Having the opportunity to undertake research at a world-class institution has led to new and enriching research. Not only is Oxford a beautiful and historic place but the people and student community is wonderful.
With my research focusing on human rights, specifically education in South Africa, I have thoroughly enjoyed attending seminars hosted by the Oxford Human Rights Hub and other discussion groups. Presented by world-renowned scholars as well as practitioners on a variety of legal issues, these seminars have been very interesting and it has been a real pleasure to have had the opportunity to attend them. These seminars have not only impacted my research but has also developed my interest in other topics that I hope to explore in future publications.
Being part of a research group consisting of individuals from different countries has also been invaluable. The manner in which the group functions leads to insightful feedback and debate, which broadens the scope of research and interest. Having the opportunity to present my work to the group and receive invaluable feedback from other researchers has definitely been a highlight of my visit. As my research is also heavily framed in accordance with international perspectives and international law, having insights from researchers with different backgrounds and from different countries has led to my research being developed in light of these comments. The research group has also made me feel very included and has made me feel part of the greater student community.
The ultimate aim that I hope to achieve with my doctoral thesis is to have a real impact on the realisation of the child’s right to basic education in South Africa – whether it be through policy, changes in legislation, interpretation by the court or aiding the Department of Basic Education in their mission to achieve full realisation. I can say with full confidence that my visiting studentship has aided in the development of my research and has played a significant role in improving my thesis.
Upon my return to Stellenbosch, I will be continuing the completion of my degree. By spending six months abroad at this word-class institution during the second year of my LL.D. has led to further development of my research and in some instances to a more focused analysis.
I would once again like to express my gratitude to everyone that has made this opportunity a reality. Not only has it enriched my life and my research immensely, but hopefully the research that I have done will be used to enrich the lives of others.