Two students who graduated with Honours in Development Studies from the Nelson Mandela University have undertaken to focus their theses on Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm’s Enterprise Development Programme. The wind farm made scholarships available for students who wanted to read for their Masters in Development Studies, with the explicit purpose of understanding the impact of their beneficiary programmes on communities.

“This academic research study will provide us with a body of evidence that we can use to further strengthen our Enterprise Development Programme and our delivery model, thereby allowing us to increase the benefits that the communities derive,” explained Mark Pickering, General Manager of Jeffreys Bay Wind farm.

This is a perfect example of a Shared Learning Project, in which a research project involves a partnership between post-graduate students and an institution requiring research assistance for a specific project. This type of approach greatly benefits students because they can experience the practical application of academic theory and concepts, and they have a far greater understanding of what is required and expected when working in the development context.

The Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm Shared Learning Project involves two students that graduated with Honours in Development Studies in 2016 and are now registered for a Full Research Masters in Development Studies in 2017 /18, namely Miss Busisiwe Phillip who completed BA Honours Development Studies in 2016 and Miss Zandile Mnwana who completed BA Honours Development Studies in 2016.

The students are focusing on The Sarah Baartman Honey Bee Trust and the Kruisfontein Emerging Cattle Farmers Herd Improvement Programme, both of which are funded as part of Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm’s enterprise development programme.