Swedish university confers honorary doctorate on UP Professor Sunil Maharaj

Image of University of Pretoria Research, Innovation and Postgraduate Education vice principal professor Sunil Maharaj

Sunil Maharaj

10th November 2023

By: Natasha Odendaal

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor


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University of Pretoria (UP) Research, Innovation and Postgraduate Education vice principal Professor Sunil Maharaj has received an Honorary Doctor of Philosophy from Sweden’s Malmö University’s Faculty of Technology and Society.

Maharaj has been recognised internationally for his pioneering and innovative work in fifth-generation and rural broadband communications, particularly research contributions on reliable communication technology in hard-to-reach areas of sub-Saharan Africa.

“I am indeed honoured and humbled as the first person from Africa to have an Honorary Doctor of Philosophy for meaningful and lasting contributions conferred on him by Malmö University's Faculty of Technology and Society,” Maharaj said.

UP has been collaborating with other universities in Sweden, but particularly Malmö University, since 2018 through the South Africa Sweden University Forum network.

“Through my interaction with their vice chancellor and my counterpart, we have discussed opportunities to further build on the collaboration in various areas and strengthen the North-South partnership. I have been collaborating with Professor Reza Malekian at Malmö University for many years ever since he was at UP and even when he left UP to join Malmö University,” Maharaj commented.

The two professors have jointly published, worked on industry projects, supervised postgraduate and postdoctoral fellows and published a book and book chapters together.

Maharaj receives the honourable appointment, alongside Australia-based Monash University's Professor Sarah Pink, as Malmö University celebrates 75 years as a university and five years of having been accorded research university status in Sweden.

Welcoming Maharaj and Pink to the university, Malmö University Faculty of Technology and Society dean Professor Andreas Jacobsson said that Maharaj had collaborated in various research projects at Malmö University for the past five years.

“Maharaj showcased over 30 years of academia and industry research experience, which resulted in successful cutting-edge research,” he continued, adding that he hoped, through this award, that they could strengthen the collaboration between UP and Malmö University as there had been a strong educational partnership between Sweden and South Africa over the years.

Maharaj received a hat, laurel wreath and a ring as symbolic attributes during the ceremony. He was also handed a diploma certificate, as written proof of the conferment, which will live on as a memory of the academic celebration.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter



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