More PhDs, please

07 May 2007
Meeting of minds: UCT's new National Research Chairs were congratulated by National Research Foundation president Prof Mzamo Mangaliso (third from right) and DVC Prof Cheryl de la Rey (third from left). Photographed here were (from left) Prof George Philander, Prof Iqbal Parker, Dr Ernesta Meintjes, and Prof Daya Reddy.

South Africa will have to produce scores more doctoral graduates if the country is to become part of the knowledge economy, said National Research Foundation president and chief executive officer, Professor Mzamo Mangaliso.

Mangaliso was guest speaker at a celebration of UCT's seven national research chairs and the university's newly rated scholars.

UCT secured seven of the first 21 National System of Innovation research chairs, established in strategic research areas at the country's universities. The chairs form part of the Department of Science and Technology's new South African Research Chairs Initiative (SARChI), which will attempt to reverse the country's decline in research output.

That decline was very much on Mangaliso's mind when he spoke. He said that for a population of 47 million, the country produced 1 150 PhDs a year, way below the international benchmark. Every year South Korea, for example, produces 100 PhDs for every million people.

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