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Pennsylvania State University

The University of Cape Town (UCT) is the primary strategic partner in Africa for the Global Engagement Network (GEN) of the Pennsylvania State University (PSU) in the United States of America (USA). The two institutions share a long history of collaborative projects. Major research initiatives include HealthWise South Africa, a five-year randomised trial on the effectiveness of HealthWise, a comprehensive universal prevention programme to reduce the risk of HIV/AIDS and STDs; the Minority Health and Health Disparities International Research and Training programme; and research related to climate change. The partners have also collaborated on several educational projects. These are the Cape Town Arts and Sciences Programme, which is administered by the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE); the Environmental Justice in South Africa programme, with the Centre for Advanced Undergraduate Study and Experience; and an initiative known as Parks and People, developed in collaboration with the Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Agency. In addition, there have been exchanges between the two institutions’ law schools.

UCT and PSU recently hosted a day-long scholarly engagement on shale gas extraction. This interdisciplinary conversation will likely be expanded in the coming months to include international partners from Brazil and eastern Europe. Key focal points for discussion at present include: macro-economic and socio-economic issues, environmental and public health issues, technology and resource exploration, governance issues, environmental humanities, and energy planning.