Collaboration with South Africa: Doctoral Education

Karolinska Institutet and Stellenbosch University have established a joint doctoral programme (double degree programme). The agreement is primarily between KI and The Faculty of Health Sciences at Stellenbosch University.

The collaborative agreement has expired and will not be renewed (no new PhD students will be admitted to the programme).

In this programme doctoral students carry out their doctoral education at both institutions with supervisors from both Stellenbosch University and Karolinska Institutet.

The first admitting university, either KI or Stellenbosch University will be identified as the student's home university, but students will register at both universities according to each university's admission process. The students' research projects are performed as collaborative projects between KI and SU with supervisors at both universities.

A minimum period of one year over the full period is required at each Partner Institution.

Graduation requirements and conferment of degree

Conferment of the degree will be made by both Partner Institutions in accordance with national regulations, issued as separate degree certificates. Both degree certificates shall be set out as formal certificates stating that the degree was awarded pursuant to a double degree programme between the Partner Institutions.

Course requirements

The PhD student should satisfy both Partner Institutions’ course requirements which may be complementary or additional to each other. Modules set out in the study plan which are successfully completed at one Partner Institution may be accredited by the other Partner institution as partial fulfilment of the PhD student’s PhD degree subject to separate and individual review.

Thesis and examination

The rules and processes for examination should follow the rules of both universities. The PhD student should satisfy both Partner Institutions’ examination requirements which may be complementary or additional to each other.

The joint doctoral thesis examinations committee shall be appointed by each Partner Institution and shall meet all the requirements of both Partner Institutions. On the joint doctoral thesis examinations committee will serve five persons selected in consultation between SU and KI and appointed by both universities.

They will be:

  • one member from KI
  • two external members (not from KI or SU)
  • one member from SU
  • one member from KI/SU


Incoming programme PhD students should apply for housing as early as possible. Contact Karolinska Institutet Housing for more information.



International coordinator

Johanna Ackemar

+46 8-524 867 89