(Published - 18 February 2019)
The University of the Western Cape (UWC) has recognised and hailed 20 support staff members who became the first cohort to complete the innovative Developing the Research Scholar Programme.
Under the guidance of Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research and Innovation, Professor José Frantz, the programme was launched last year to spark interest in research among support staff from across all faculties, and to help boost research on campus. As part of the programme the participants completed modules in creating a research profile, writing a funding proposal, writing a research proposal and writing for publication.
During their graduation on Friday, 15 February 2019, UWC Rector and Vice-Chancellor Professor Tyrone Pretorius congratulated the participants and organisers. “It is events like these that make me proud of UWC because it means we are moving forward in our goal to be recognised as an excellent research university,” Prof Pretorius said.
“In our IOP we talk about strengthening UWC’s position as an excellent research and innovation university with local relevance, regional impact and global recognition. However, the University community can only grow richer and stronger when we ensure that we have new researchers contributing to our knowledge base.”
Prof Pretorius said one of the innovative aspects of the programme is that Prof Frantz’s developmental activity draws no distinction between academic and professional staff. “Because we recognise that even among our professional staff there is a vast knowledge base, and there is often a significant desire to continue with research.
“With this programme we are dealing with the goal we set of developing the new generation of academic and professional leaders. Our expectation of you is that you will not only get published and be established researchers, but we expect you to view higher education and academia as a viable, energising and exciting space in which to build your careers. And we expect that you will do so at UWC.”
Speaking on behalf of the participants, Rodrique George said there are many people who often rely on a hand to be extended to them, and that the programme has afforded the participants that opportunity. “It is true that UWC is a student-centred institution, but we cannot ignore the fact that the very people we need and ask to inspire students, are the same people we need to invest in.”