254 x 178mm
Doctoral Education in South Africa
By Nico Cloete, Johann Mouton & Charles Sheppard
Worldwide, in Africa and in South Africa, the importance of the doctorate has increased disproportionately in relation to its share of the overall graduate output over the last decade. This heightened attention has not only been concerned with the traditional role of the PhD, namely the provision of a future supply of academics. Rather, it has focused on the increasingly important role that higher education – particularly high-level skills – is perceived to play in national development and the knowledge economy.
This book is unique in the area of research into doctoral studies because it 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. In addition to these historical studies, new quantitative and qualitative research was undertaken to produce the evidence base for the anbalyses presented in the book. The studies focused on a range of issues related to the growth, efficiency, quality and transformation of doctoral education, doctoral supervision, doctoral tracer studies as well as drawing on studies from the rest of Africa and the world.
The book makes recommendations about strengthening traditional doctoral education, and proposes a paradigm shift. It concludes by raising three policy issues: reaching the National Development Plan 2030 target of 5 000 graduates per annum, South Africa as a PhD hub for Africa and differentiation among different groups of doctorate-producing institutions.
Merridy Wilson-Strydom, University of the Free State
“this important and well-researched book certainly takes the debate forward in meaningful ways, and clearly sets out the policy implications of different paths that might be considered as we continue to strive to improve doctoral education in South Africa. The data, conclusions, recommendations, and additional information included in the detailed appendices, are likely to be of much value across the sector, for doctoral students, supervisors, university management and leaders, and policymakers.”
Read the full review as published in the South African Journal of Science
Dr Fareeda Khodabocus, Director of Quality Assurance, University of Mauritius
It was a great pleasure to participate at this book launch the occasion of HERANA 3 week from 22 to 29th of November 2015.
I have read this book with great interest as it reveals all the facets that contribute to implementing a framework for Doctoral Education in any Institution. The book has wide coverage with key comparisons of what happens in other corners of the world and it puts in perspective how doctoral education can act as an engine of growth for a knowledge economy. The authors and researchers involved in this project have done a precise task of collecting and analyzing information from a wide range of Universities in South Africa (SA) (shall I say all!) and they have conducted in-depth interviews and case-studies reporting that have been carefully spread out throughout the text, to reveal the complexities and multi-dimensional aspects of this study. The arguments and conclusions can serve as very helpful guides to future decisions makers overseeing Doctoral Education in their institutions. Nothing have been left out regarding issues and queries which can crop up with the promotion of PhD education from a general perspective, every aspect has been adequately addressed and it is noted that a very ambitious target has been set for the South African Higher Education PhD providers by the year 2030 i.e. 5,000 Doctoral Graduates to be produced per year and this has been a central theme for discussion at various stages of the book thus making SA a potential PhD hub for Africa.
Several anecdotal experiences re-surfaced in the course of the reading this text, that I encountered while undertaking my own PhD research in the UK. Aspects such as the different models of PhDs and the Chapters bring to light answers to many queries in managing Doctoral Education. To sum up, it is good to see that all these pertinent issues have been intricately addressed. As expected, the study starts with the analysis of the demand for PhDs (an ideal start!), leading to discussions on the need to increase the number doctorates by 5,000 per year by 2030 in SA, this is followed by a thorough analysis of data and information for improved EFFICIENCY and its related constructs and what is understood by the expected TRANSFORMATION for SA (very thoroughly discussed).
The study brings in perspective the TRUTH that this endeavor must spread across the continent for Africa to EMERGE and more and more Africans including women must be involved in doctoral education. My favorite chapter was initially meant to be Chapter 5, where the quality of doctoral education is discussed, however I found more interesting to come from chapter 6 on the multiple paths to success and how ‘doctoral productive’ departments in SA Universities have identified their research strengths and deployed strategies to improve their performance at each step of the PhD process in the SELECTION, ORIENTATION, ADMINISTRATION AND FUNDING. Interesting to find, that there is no unique solution and that various strategies have been tried. Chapter 7 interestingly concludes how the SA system should be able to respond to the innovative ways of the four imperatives of GROWTH, EFFICIENCY, TRANSFORMATION AND QUALITY to achieve the targets set, and how if sufficient funds were available , this will enable more than 50% of SA doctoral students to engage in full-time doctoral studies. It was interesting to note that it would be the growth in full-time studies that would stimulate the introduction of differing models of doctoral education like PhD by publications. The last chapter, discussed thoroughly the Policy Choices and Implications and it was interesting to learn that the HERANA study reveal that amongst the eight participating countries, Mauritius had a broadly supported knowledge economy development model with policies across different Ministries. Sure we do! At the University of Mauritius (UoM), we fully align our policies and goals with Government Policies and Strategies. Which I think could be the difference between UoM and the other Herana Universities.
Last but not least, the appendix to this book was very captivating, highlighting the important contributions of the high level players in the Higher Education Field in South Africa and from the International HE Field to share their visions of Doctoral Education. All views converge to the FACT that there is a need to enhance Doctoral Education in Africa and elsewhere and that institutions must carefully work out their strategies to address the demand for doctoral education at their own individual level. The more rigorous the quality control the better will be the outcome. It was pointed out that other avenues for embarking on PhDs must be explored and that we should not adhere to the traditional way. This book sets out the framework that will influence Doctoral Education in Africa. EVERYONE MUST READ! I think it provides an opportunity for Herana Ambassadors/Participants to investigate their own pathways for doctoral education in the light of findings revealed herein and to plan for their own future Strategies for Doctoral Education for a SMARTER AFRICA.
CONGRATULATIONS TO AUTHORS AND CONTRIBUTORS AND FUNDERS OF THIS PROJECT!
Read the full review as published in International Higher Education
Claudia Frittelli, Carnegie Corporation of New York
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.
Read the full review on the Carnegie Corporation of New York’s Higher Education and Research in Africa blog
Table of contents
List of figures and tables iv
About the authors xi
List of frequently used acronyms xii
The demand for a doctorate: Global, African and South African contexts 1
The demand to increase doctorates 27
The demand for improved efficiency 59
The demand for transformation 81
Improve the quality of doctoral education 101
Multiple paths to success 125
Incremental change and a paradigm shift 173
Policy choices and implications 195
Appendix 1 Data sources and methodology 215
Appendix 2 Responses to the presentation of preliminary findings
from the Study on the Doctorate in South Africa (May 2014) 225
Appendix 3 Current trends in PhD studies: A review of articles published on the University World News website (2013) 246
Appendix 4 Government steering of doctoral production 261
Appendix 5 Additional data on the doctorate in South Africa 265
Appendix 6 Scenarios that will produce doctoral graduates by 2030 270