1. Description and objective

In 2022 the University launched its Strategic Framework for Global Engagement, inspired by the urgent concern for our common home, and focusing on wicked, systemic global challenges. These challenges range from the interconnected SDG’s, the climate crisis, changes in international power relationships, a contested heritage of western supremacism, extractivism, and exploitation. To remain relevant as an institution today requires precisely reflecting upon this rapidly changing and complex context and propose holistic and collaborative approaches to create meaningful change.

2. Call

The university wishes to promote its global engagement and relevance in tackling above context through an annual prize that supports initiatives, projects, and collaborations that promote reflection and dialogue about equitable north-south partnerships, decolonization, global citizenship, anti-racism, equitable north-south partnerships, epistemology and knowledge violence, development cooperation, and inclusive education. This prize is open to all members of the university community, including students, faculty, and staff.

The decision to name this annual 'Prize' on Global Engagement after Paul Panda Farnana is a meaningful gesture to commemorate and honor the legacy of the first Congolese graduate of Belgian Higher Education, who was a dedicated advocate for African emancipation.

3. Candidate

Nominations for the Paul Panda Farnana Prize are submitted by a member of the University of Antwerp to the Academic Committee on Global Engagement through the form below. You can nominate a colleague, student, project, or yourself. Your nomination should include:

  • A concise description, curriculum vitae, or history of the nominee(s) or organization.
  • A rationale for the nomination aligning with the objectives of the Global Engagement Strategic Framework.

4. Jury award and selection

The Paul Panda Farnana Prize is bestowed annually in March, coinciding with the University's Global Engagement and Diversity Month. The recipient is chosen by the Academic Committee on Global Engagement

The award is presented at the university's annual Global Engagement academic event, with the upcoming one scheduled for March 2025.

Nominations can be submitted until the 29th of February 2025.

To ensure alignment with the values and priorities of the university community, the selection process includes a diverse and representative group of stakeholders. The Academic Committee on Global Engagement places emphasis on initiatives that demonstrate innovation, impact, and critical reflection, all in line with the principles of the Global Engagement Strategic Framework.

The prize includes recognition for the work done, and the selected project may benefit from further dissemination through the Global Engagement website in March.

5. Prize

The award consists of a prize of 1,500€ and a symbolic artwork referring to the principles of Global Engagement as articulated in the Strategic Framework.

6. Possible themes and initiatives

The focus of this prize regards all possible initiatives, preferably bottom-up addressing Global Engagement in its broad form. This could include projects that involve working with non-academic stakeholders such as community organizations, NGOs, and government agencies, research projects, PhD’s, master dissertations, students projects, etc. The goal is to encourage collaboration and partnerships that can contribute to sustainable change and promote a more inclusive, globally engaged university society. 

The Paul Panda Farnana Prize is open to a wide array of initiatives, including but not limited to:

  1. Innovative North-South Exchanges: Projects, exchanges, and research practices that foster creative and impactful interactions between the Global North and Global South.

  2. Raising Awareness: Efforts to increase awareness and understanding of historical and contemporary oppression and exploitation faced by countries or marginalized groups from the "Global South".

  3. Alternative Perspectives: Initiatives that amplify alternative viewpoints and knowledge, especially related to complex societal and environmental challenges, such as redefining 'development' and addressing climate justice.

  4. Knowledge Exchange: Promoting the exchange and engagement of diverse perspectives, involving both academic and non-academic stakeholders.

  5. Post-Colonial academic partnerships: Addressing the complexities and possibilities of achieving equitable post-colonial academic partnerships.

  6. Global Education: Initiatives that reflect on and promote inclusive, decolonial approaches to higher education.

  7. Colonial Legacy: Courses or initiatives that confront and address the colonial history and legacy, both within the university and in the context of Belgium, to pave the way for 'post-colonial' futures.

  8. Inclusion and Diversity: Efforts that actively promote inclusion and diversity among staff, students, and international partners.

This project was made possible by Global Minds funding from VLIR-UOS.