Until late in the 19th century, Utrecht University played a very important role in providing academic training for South African students. Professors at Utrecht stressed the Dutch roots of the Boers and supported their cause. The board of the veterinary faculty encouraged collaboration with colleagues from the veterinary school at Onderstepoort. Not only would this broaden the scientific horizon, but also create jobs for Dutch vets in South Africa, in addition to employment in the Dutch East Indies. Hence, the connection with Onderstepoort was framed in the context of colonial veterinary medicine. The collaboration became concrete. In 1931 Phillipus Fourie, deputy director of Veterinary Services at Onderstepoort, became the first foreigner to receive a PhD in veterinary medicine at Utrecht University. Otto Nieschulz from Utrecht was a guest lecturer at Onderstepoort in 1931 and 1933. Sir Arnold Theiler received an honorary doctorate from Utrecht University in 1936.
Theiler’s successor, Petrus du Toit, was awarded the title ‘Doctor honoris causa’ in Utrecht in 1948, the same year in which apartheid was officially adopted in South Africa. In the 1960s and 1970s ethical debates on the colonial heritage were held within Dutch politics. The post-colonial era witnessed a shift from colonial exploitation to development collaboration. While attention was mainly focused on new collaboration with Indonesia, the relation with South Africa became more and more uneasy. The dubious role Dutchmen had played in this former colony, ultimately resulting in apartheid, was heavily criticized. In addition to the international boycott after 1960, the Netherlands imposed a cultural and academic boycott against South Africa in 1986.
After the abolition of apartheid in 1990, rapprochement between Utrecht University and South African universities took place. This was part of a broader development collaboration between Utrecht University and universities in Zimbabwe and Mozambique. The new contact with the old partner led to chairs established in both cities. Frans Jongejan from Utrecht was appointed as extraordinary professor in tropical veterinary medicine at Onderstepoort, while Koos Coetzer from Pretoria became part-time professor in tropical animal health at the veterinary faulty in Utrecht in 2001. Since then, research projects are being carried out while postgraduate courses are taught with mutual participation.
Presentation delivered at the 44th International Congress of the World Association for the History of Veterinary Medicine held from the 27-29 of February 2020 at The Farm Inn Hotel and Conference Centre, Pretoria, South Africa
Swanepoel, David; Breytenbach, Amelia; Coetsee, Tertia; Marsh, Susan; World Association for the History of Veterinary Medicine. International Congress (44th : 2020 : Pretoria, South Africa)(Pretoria : World Association for the History of Veterinary Medicine, 2020-02)
The history of veterinary science and education in South Africa is embedded within the colonial history of South Africa and is essential to understand and appreciate its contribution to the well-being of the country. ...
Goebel, Veronika; World Association for the History of Veterinary Medicine. International Congress (44th : 2020 : Pretoria, South Africa)(Pretoria : World Association for the History of Veterinary Medicine, 2020-02)
Research into the lost and hidden treasures of the historical collections provides insights into the 230-year history of teaching at the veterinary faculty in Munich. Today, the collections no longer occupy the position ...
University of Pretoria. Faculty of Veterinary Science; Pettey, Ken; Smit, Janine(2009)
Veterinary Library named in honour of Jotello Soga -- From the desk of the Dean -- Onderstepoort opens new piggery -- Meet henry Annandale, new OVAH Director -- Paraclinical Sciences presents practical wildlife disease ...