As the Africa Research Student Network prepares for its launch on 21 January 2013 at SOAS, Siham Rayale and Pritish Behuria explain the motivation behind its formation.
The Africa Research Student Network (AfNet) was created in October 2012 to facilitate greater dialogue between research students focused on Africa from across the University of London.
Each institution within the university attracts talented research students using innovative methodologies from multidisciplinary backgrounds such as development, economics, politics, history, linguistics and geography.
The network provides an opportunity for students with a similar geographical, methodological and thematic focus to exchange ideas and form collaborative projects in the future. It is the first time research students from across the University of London who are studying Africa will be formally connected in such a way.
The research experience can often be daunting and isolating for many students. The network provides a platform for students to learn about one another’s work. It provides an opportunity for research students to support each other and learn from each other’s experiences in the field.
It provides a forum for students to discuss their research as it evolves, while also providing a forum for presenting finished work.
Through establishing ourselves as a formal network, we also provide the capacity to link with research bodies, think tanks and publishers who would be interested in the diverse range of our research.
Finally, as the UK Higher Education system evolves, the network will enable our members to understand the opportunities available to us as we research a dynamic continent, while remaining aware of the challenging professional environment that awaits us.
The launch of the Africa Research Student Network, University of London will take place on Monday 21 January at SOAS in the Brunei Suite at 5.30pm. Speakers will include Professor Graham Furniss, the SOAS Pro-Director for Research, Michael Jennings, the Chair of the Centre for African Studies at SOAS and Jonathan Harle of the Association of Commonwealth Universities. Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to attend.
You can also contact the Africa Research Student Network via email on email@example.com.