Indaba calls for more postgraduate graduates

23 April 2007
South Africa needs more postgraduate students, said Prof Cheryl de la Rey at the Research Indaba at UCT on 18 April.

UCT is among the group of five universities that produce 65% of South Africa's PhD students. But there are research areas where the university does not attract enough postgraduate students.

This came up at the Research Indaba on postgraduate education and research, hosted by the University Research Committee and Board for Graduate Studies on 18 April.

But it's a national dilemma.

In 2005, for example, there were only 1 090 PhD students at South African universities, compared to 83 150 undergraduates. "This is way under what any other equivalent country produces," said Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Cheryl de la Rey.

In other countries, studies show a correlation between an increase in PhD students and rapid economic growth, De la Rey said. But in South Africa, there are no available numbers on this relationship.

"What we need to ask here is what is happening in the system, and more specifically, what can we, at UCT, do about it."

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