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A wide and international network due to a double PhD

Marjo Buitelaar and Brenda Bartelink
Marjo Buitelaar and Brenda Bartelink
Marjo Buitelaar and Brenda Bartelink
Two always know more than one. The cooperation between universities is becoming more intensive for exactly this reason. And we’re not just talking nationally, but also internationally. A good example is the cooperation between the University of Groningen and the University of Uppsala in Sweden. What began as a joint teaching module has grown into a much more extensive cooperation: a joint Master and a double PhD at the two sister faculties of Theology and Religious Studies.

Bartelink: ‘I graduated in a theme I wanted to study further – religion and development cooperation. The double PhD project with Uppsala, which concentrates on religion and conflict, offered me that chance. PhD research is of course more than just collecting data and reading literature. Creating a wide network is also very important. International cooperation like this is a great help.’ 
Buitelaar: ‘A faculty team develops certain expertise and approaches. Through cooperation, you encounter other approaches and the cross-fertilization is continually inspiring. For example, my Swedish colleagues and I exchange information on the position of migrants and the social debate about Muslims in both our countries. I speak Swedish, so I have much easier access to literature in Swedish via my Uppsala colleagues.’ 
Bartelink: ‘What constantly strikes me is the enthusiasm that a cooperation like this evokes. As soon as you start discussing content-related matters, everyone is bursting with ideas and new lines of approach. That generates a lot of energy.’ 
Name   Marjo Buitelaar (1958)
Position  University Reader in Islam
Motivation  There’s a lot talked about the problems that are caused by religion. I want to show that in daily life, religion is mainly about consolation, inspiration, security and mutual involvement.
Commitment  I want to be socially committed. When you are committed you can then become involved in such matters.


Name  Brenda Bartelink (1977)
Position  PhD student
Motivation  Reflection on matters to do with development cooperation. There is never enough time for this in politics. Religious Studies can make an important contribution to this reflection.
Development  I think it is very important to keep developing and thus contribute to new knowledge and insights, not only to science but also to society.
Last modified:01 November 2012 5.26 p.m.
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