Education and training are central to EPRU’s mandate. Research fellows therefore involve themselves in teaching environmental and resource economics within the School of Economics at the University of Cape Town, while also extending this to other departments in the university. They offer supervision to Masters and PhD-level students. Meanwhile EPRU also provides scholarships and funding for students, and offers extensive infrastructural resources to students.
EPRU students are also encouraged to attend, and present at, the weekly seminars within the School of Economics in order that their research might be shared and guidance might be gained from fellow EPRU researchers. In addition, EPRU students benefit from exposure to many important policy makers and researchers who collaborate with more senior EPRU members.
Teaching at UCT
EPRU is strongly involved in the undergraduate and postgraduate teaching program, both within the School of Economics, and within the wider university. There are currently three key courses dedicated to the training and recruitment of students in the field of environmental economics:
- Third year undergraduate course in Natural Resource Economics
- Honors course in Environmental Economics
- Masters course in Natural Resource Economics
In addition, there are a number of environmental economics modules within, or components to, other economics courses:
- Third year undergraduate course in Applied International Trade Bargaining
- Second year undergraduate course in Development Economics
- Third year undergraduate course in Public Sector Economics (environmental taxes)
- Honors course in Policy Analysis (economics of waste)
- Honors course in Development Economics
- Honors course in Economic Challenges in Africa
EPRU members also teach environmental issues to students from other departments within the university, including those in Conservation Biology, Marine Resources Fisheries Economics, and Applied Marine Science.
EPRU researchers encouraged to studying abroad
On an international level, EPRU’s connection with the European Association of Environmental and Resource Economics, through the EfD network, allows younger researchers to access regular training courses and high-intensity academic courses organised by the University of Gothenburg and by the Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM) in Venice. A number of PhD students have benefited from these facilities.
Graduate student supervision
EPRU provides graduate supervision to a large number of students across a broad range of research topics.
EPRU continues to draw good graduate students with an interest in environmental economics, including from outside the discipline of Economics. EPRU members actively assist and co-supervise graduate students from a number of other departments, such as Engineering and Zoology. This speaks to the interdisciplinary nature of the center’s research, and the desire of students from many different backgrounds to incorporate environmental economics into their research.
EPRU endeavours to offer financial support to students when needed.
Before 2013, EPRU awarded post-graduate scholarships to outstanding candidates in order that they might pursue their masters or PhDs on an environmental research topic. In 2013, however, EPRU resolved that individual fellows would support students they were supervising on an ad hoc basis. This motivates EPRU, as a unit, to aim to have a range of funded research projects available in which students can locate their theses.
Since 2014, EPRU has offered financial support to a number of students in this way. In addition, students are able to apply for a linked EfD-EPRU scholarship, funded by the EfD initiative.
Finally, EPRU strives to offer financial assistance beyond PhD level. Project funding has enabled EPRU to have a number of post-doctoral fellows over the past few years. These post-doctoral researchers contribute significantly to the center’s work, not only assisting on the specific projects for which they received funding, but also exploring new research ideas and starting new projects.