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4 October 2018
Professor Roy Maartens speaks about his A-rating and his work at the University of the Western Cape

(Published - 4 October 2018)

Professor Roy Maartens of the University of the Western Cape’s Astrophysics Group, had his A-rating renewed at the 2018 National Research Foundation Awards.

To become an NRF A-rated scientist, you have to do top-quality internationally-recognised and field-transforming work.

“My A-rating, which I got for the first time in 2012, was the first A-rating at UWC. So that makes me more pleased because UWC is a university that has had to recover from the ravages of apartheid. It was set up by the apartheid regime to fail, so to speak - like all the apartheid created universities except for the privileged white ones,” says Professor Maartens.

“And UWC has been struggling to overcome that legacy and has been succeeding. In particular UWC has been able to build a really strong astronomy research group, and I am very happy to be a part of that.”


Professor Maartens was born in Johannesburg and later moved to Cape Town, where he did his BSc and Honours, before departing for Oxford University to do a PhD. He came back to South Africa in the early 1980s and lectured in applied maths at Wits University until 1994, when he moved to Portsmouth University in the UK, where he became the founding director of the Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation. He returned to South Africa to take up the South African Research Chair Initiative (SARChI) Chair in Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of the Western Cape in 2011. In 2013, he was appointed as Chairman of the international SKA Cosmology Science Working Group.