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“YEBO!” project online conference – Registration is open

30 March 2021

From 12 to 14 April 2021, the YEBO! project will hold its final conference, organised collaboratively by all consortium partners and hosted online by the University of Pretoria and Uppsala University. The conference, titled Internationalisation of the PhD: from possibilities of today to challenges of the future”, will include a set of activities with a specific emphasis on core aspects of doctoral studies: modernisation and supervision. There will be sessions involving speakers from YEBO! partner institutions, the South Africa Ministry of Higher Education Science and Innovation, the European Commission, government representatives and funding agencies representatives, amongst others. Participants will also be given the chance to take part in a virtual collaborative activity called “World Café”. On the conference final day, PhD candidates will take on the challenge to present their thesis and research process with scientific posters or three-minute presentations in front of a very demanding crowd and jury.

Save the date and join us online on 12-14 April 2021.

Registration is available here.

The full programme is available here.

More about YEBO!


The YEBO!  journey started in December 2017, when the summer was at its peak in Pretoria, and the snow was covering the streets of Montpellier, home of the project coordinating institution – the University of Montpellier. YEBO! meaning YES! in Zulu bridged two continents through fifteen partners focusing on the internationalization of doctoral studies in South Africa.

The three and a half year-journey started with great enthusiasm, driven by the common desire amongst partners to build a sustainable ecosystem in the respective member universities to support the production of globally competitive PhDs. It is a globally recognised fact that PhDs are the foundation of academic life and a key driver of innovation. By focusing on the strengthening the internationalisation of PhD studies, the YEBO! Project presented an opportunity for mutual learning, benchmarking and leapfrogging for all partners.

As the final YEBO! conference marks the end of the project, it also provides an opportunity to investigate its development during its lifespan, its contribution to the South African national plan for doctoral education, the current position of doctoral studies in South Africa and what challenges remain to address. And we trust that thanks to the project’s contribution, when the blue sky of Pretoria will welcome the summer light and winter will cover the streets of Montpellier again, there will be assessed knowledge, developed methodologies and skills to face remaining challenges and foster the internationalization of doctoral studies and supervision in the future.

YEBO!‘s legacy

Throughout the YEBO! project timeline, many interventions were undertaken to strengthen inter- cultural competences, structural services to support international mobility and enhance the international quality, development of a toolbox for supervision, networking and exchange of the best practices amongst others. These interventions brought together all stakeholders in the PhD value-chain including academics/supervisors, administrators, university leaders, PhD candidates, early career academics and funders. As the COVID-19 pandemic upended our reality, the YEBO! project timeline was adjusted and new ways of working adopted. With all these challenges, the project achieved its objectives owing to the unwavering commitment of all the partners.