Doctoral Education in South Africa

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Naledi Pandor, South African Minister of Science and Technology, says

“I welcome this book, which I know will play an important role in how the Department of Science and Technology, the Department of Higher Education and Training, and the Department of Trade and Industry approach the transformation of the South African PhD . . . What this book shows is that there are new approaches we can take for a ‘radical rethink’ to meet our National Development Plan PhD targets, which are more than double what we now have.”

The Knowledge Economy Needs More Doctorates

In Africa and around the world, the importance of the doctorate has risen in inverse proportion to the share of college graduates pursuing PhDs. This situation negatively affects not only the future supply of academics: PhDs, with their high-level skills, play a vital role in national development and the knowledge economy.

Doctoral Education in South Africa draws on a large number of studies conducted by the Centre of Higher Education Trust (CHET) and the Centre for Research on Evaluation, Science and Technology (CREST), over the past decade with support from Carnegie Corporation and the Ford Foundation. In addition, it features analyses of new quantitative and qualitative research on the growth, efficiency, quality, and transformation of doctoral education and supervision across the continent and the world.

Recognizing that Africa needs tens of thousands more PhDs to renew an aging professoriate, staff the rapidly expanding higher education field, boost research, and generate high‐level skills, the book proposes a paradigm shift that will strengthen traditional doctoral education.  It presents the possibility of South Africa as a PhD hub for the continent, but also covers the obstacles and tough policy choices involved.

Download the full PDF of Doctoral Education in South Africa  here


Over 90 participants attended the book launch on November 26th in South Africa.