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24 November 2021
UWC’s Law Faculty bolsters its research profile with four new NRF ratings

The University of the Western Cape’s Law Faculty is gaining recognition for outstanding research outputs. With the National Research Foundation’s announcement of ratings for four of its professors, the Faculty now boasts 15 NRF-rated researchers (including emeritus and extraordinary professors) putting it well on par with other South African universities. 

Professors Nico Steytler, South African Research Chair in Multilevel Government, retained his B-1 rating while Professor Jaap de Visser, Director of the Dullah Omar Institute, retained his B-2 rating. B-rated researchers are those who enjoy considerable international recognition for the high quality and impact of their research. Prof Steytler focuses on constitutional design and the system of multi-level government, comparative federalism and local government, while Prof de Visser has published widely on multilevel government, local government, good governance and federalism in Africa. 

Professor Nico Steytler

Speaking of his third NRF rating, Prof De Visser said: “It is a stamp of recognition by the academic community of the quality and impact of my research, so it's a fantastic feather in my cap. It also adds to the University's standing and ranking.” He added: “It vicariously boosts the image of the Institute and my colleagues and students with whom I have conducted many of the research projects that were reviewed.”

 

Professor Jaap de Visser

The faculty now has six B-rated academics. Professor Julia Sloth-Nielsen, who obtained an A-rating in January, is UWC’s first woman professor to be recognised by the NRF as a leading international researcher. 

Professor John-Mark Iyi, Director, African Centre for Transnational Criminal Justice at the University of the Western Cape, received his first NRF rating as a C-1 researcher while Professor Fareed Moosa, also a first time recipient of an NRF-rating, was rated as a C-2 researcher. The C-category recognises established researchers in their respective fields. 

 

Professor John-Mark Iyi

Prof Iyi said: “It is now for me to leverage the opportunity this rating provides to further engage in innovative scholarship that contributes to positive change and transformation of our society and our world. It is also testament to the institutional support and intellectual environment UWC provides for academics of diverse backgrounds and persuasions to flourish in their careers.” 

He specialises in public international law, peace and conflict, transitional justice, terrorism and transnational crimes, human rights and democratisation, jurisprudence and critical international legal theory. 

 

Professor Fareed Moosa

Prof Moosa said: “This award serves as affirmation that, in the eyes of eminent peers nationally, I have, through my publications, established myself as a researcher in the niche area of taxpayers' rights with a body of work which, upon critical examination and evaluation, has been found to be of high quality and impactful.” He added that on an institutional level, the NRF rating serves as an example of “UWC growing its own timber and employing legal academics with excellent skills and competencies who consistently produce high quality research in law”. 

Professor Jacques De Ville, Dean of the Law Faculty, concluded: “The Faculty would like to congratulate these staff members on their new ratings. These ratings go a long way to enhancing the University’s standing as a leading research institution nationally and internationally.”