May 15, 2009
SA seeks to boost the number of PhDs it producesBack
© Reuse this
In the view of NRF acting CEO and president Dr Albert van Jaarsveld, this country’s competitiveness in global markets is dependent on the cultivation of highly skilled PhD graduates. But South Africa is lagging badly in this regard. Indeed, the country’s performance is significantly inferior to the average for emerging economies. Currently, South Africa produces 27 PhDs for every million of the population, in comparison with Brazil’s 42 and South Korea’s 172. The disparity with developed economies is even more dire – for example, Australia graduates 240 PhDs for every million of the population, while the figure or the UK is 259.
The South African PhD Project is aligned with the country’s National System of Innovation. The broad mandate of the project is to obtain and promote local and foreign study opportunities, offer competitive bursaries to PhD and postdoctoral candidates, use peer and mentor support groups to highlight the professional benefits of gaining a PhD, increase the supply of potential PhD students, and to partner with universities, funding agencies and business. “The main aim is to increase the diversity of, and strengthen, the corporate and higher education sectors by increasing the number of PhD graduates,” says project manager Dr Carol Nonkwelo. The project also seeks to make South Africa a leading country regarding the production of knowledge in all areas of research, including the natural sciences, engineering, the social sciences, the humanities and law.
The Vrije University Amsterdam-NRF Desmond Tutu Doctoral Programme is open to candidates seeking to undertake PhD studies in four specific areas – development economics, theology, sports sciences (human movement studies) and the social sciences. The overarching theme for the programme is Youth, Sports and Reconciliation. The successful applicants will be jointly supervised in their researches by the Desmond Tutu Programme Chairs at the Vrije University Amsterdam and by South African supervisers. The Vrije University Amsterdam has four Desmond Tutu professors.
The new scholarship was unveiled at last week’s South African PhD Project conference and fair in Johannesburg. The conference was attended by some 300 postgraduate students (master’s as well as PhD), while the fair displayed opportunities for study, research and financial support, both in South Africa and overseas. A number of foreign exhibitors attended, from countries including Germany, the Netherlands, Singapore and the US.
The NRF exists to support and develop basic and applied research and innovation by means of funding, the development of human resources and the provision of the requisite research facilities.
Edited by: Martin Zhuwakinyu© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Other News This Week News
Recent Research Reports
Projects in Progress 2015 - First Edition (PDF Report)
In fact, this edition of Creamer Media’s Projects in Progress 2015 supplement tracks developments taking place under the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme, which has had four bidding rounds. It appears to remain a shining light on the...
Electricity 2015: A review of South Africa's electricity sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Electricity 2015 report provides an overview of State-owned power utility Eskom and independent power producers, as well as electricity planning, transmission, distribution and the theft thereof, besides other issues.
Construction 2015: A review of South Africa’s construction sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Construction 2015 Report examines South Africa’s construction industry over the past 12 months. The report provides insight into the business environment; the key participants in the sector; local construction demand; geographic diversification;...
Liquid Fuels 2014 - A review of South Africa's Liquid Fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2014 Report examines these issues, focusing on the business environment, oil and gas exploration, the country’s feedstock supplies, the development of South Africa’s biofuels industry, fuel pricing, competition in the sector, the...
Water 2014: A review of South Africa's water sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Water 2014 report considers the aforementioned issues, not only in the South African context, but also in the African and global context, and examines the issues of water and sanitation, water quality and the demand for water, among others.
Defence 2014: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Defence 2014 report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key participants in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial multibillion-rand...
This Week's Magazine
Projected capital expenditure (capex) in the South African automotive assembly industry should reach a record R7.48-billion this year, says the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa) in its 2014 fourth quarter business review. Capex...
After several years of navigating project-threatening red tape and currency fluctuations, the 4.4 MW Bronkhorstspruit biogas power plant, which will supply clean energy to a leading automotive manufacturer in Gauteng, is expected to enter production before June....
South African paper and pulp producer Sappi reported earlier this month that it would build a pilot plant for the production of low-cost Cellulose NanoFibrils, or CNF (nanocellulose) at the Brightlands Chemelot Campus in Sittard-Geleen in the Netherlands.
The long-term outlook for Nigeria is a country that has the potential to be very strong. So affirmed International Monetary Fund (IMF) Nigeria Mission Chief and Senior Resident Representative Dr Gene Leon on recently. "But we are starting from a point of huge...
Poor infrastructure planning and inadequate maintenance are becoming increasingly problematic for new developments and the associated infrastructure required to support such developments. In many urban and rural municipalities, the state of infrastructure has been...