The Graduate School of Journalism at
Columbia University and the University of Witwatersrand in
Johannesburg, South Africa announce a new dual-degree programme,
beginning in August 2010, which will allow students to study journalism
in both New York and Johannesburg and receive degrees from both
institutions.


This partnership reflects the global nature of journalism in the 21st century, offering students top-tier training from both an American and an international perspective, and encourages mastery of journalistic techniques and the opportunity to develop a career with a unique international background.

“We are delighted to form a partnership with Wits University, one of Africa’s leading academic institutions,” said Nicholas Lemann, dean of Columbia’s Journalism School. “Wits shares our belief in the value of graduate-level university professional education for journalists and in the importance of giving journalists an international perspective.”

Students who participate in this program will be selected by a joint committee consisting of two representatives from each school to select a maximum of five students per year from each institution for the exchange program.

“We are committed to giving our graduates the opportunity to work in international news systems, especially those in under-covered regions,” says David Klatell, chairman of international studies at Columbia’s Journalism School. “The Wits partnership creates a great opportunity for them to do this.”   Klatell oversees the initiative at the Journalism School to create partnerships with overseas institutions.

After receiving a M.S. degree from the Journalism School, Columbia students may choose to attend Wits to take courses towards a second degree, or towards a graduate certificate programme. While in Johannesburg, Wits will place visiting students in internship programmes with various news organisations in South Africa.

“This arrangement will enrich our university experience,” said Anton Harber, head of the Wits programme. “Our students will gain a wider perspective on the world and on journalism, and will bring this vision back to Africa. I am confident, too, that the  knowledge and experience of Africa that the Columbia students will gain will be equally enhancing.”

The initial agreement will last for three years. Students will be responsible for covering the cost of tuition with the understanding that the host institution will try to offer some financial assistance.

This is another initiative by the Journalism School, similar to its arrangement with Sciences Po in Paris, to establish institutional alliances around the world.


About Wits University
The University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg is one of the leading
universities in South Africa. It consists of five faculties which
comprise 34 schools. Wits has graduated over 100,000 students since it
opened in 1922. Of its current enrollment of about 28,000, almost 2,000
are international students. Wits Journalism is a graduate programme
started a decade ago offering B.A. Hons and M.A. degrees. For more
information, visit http://web.wits.ac.za/


About the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism
For almost a century, the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism has been preparing journalists with a programme that stresses academic rigor, ethics, journalistic inquiry, and professional practice. Founded with a gift from Joseph Pulitzer in 1903, the school offers master of science, master of arts, and doctor of philosophy degrees as well as dual degree programmes in environmental science, religion, business, international and public affairs and law. For more information about the journalism school, visit www.jrn.columbia.edu

About Columbia University
A leading academic and research university, Columbia continually seeks to advance the frontiers of knowledge and to foster a campus community deeply engaged in understanding and addressing the complex global issues of our time. Columbia's extensive public service initiatives, cultural collaborations, and community partnerships help define the University’s underlying values and mission to educate students to be both leading scholars and informed, engaged citizens. Founded in 1754 as King’s College, Columbia University in the City of New York is the fifth oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. For more information, visit www.columbia.edu.

Media Contact: Clare Oh, 212-854-5479, clare.oh@columbia.edu
Programme Contact: David Klatell, dak25@columbia.edu