Social science and humanities research is fundamental to economic, social and cultural development, but South Africa has a dire shortage of young researchers in these areas.
For this reason, the HSRC and Higher Education South Africa (HESA) – which represents 23 universities – have committed themselves to accelerate the development of a new generation of researchers, in line with state policy and priorities.
The two organisations will enter into a memorandum of understanding that promotes and advances social science and humanities research to the government, industry, civil society and international agencies, and establishes a framework enabling inter-institutional collaborations.
The HSRC will conclude agreements with specific universities to create academic and administrative structures that facilitate research, including sabbaticals, joint lecturing, joint appointments, post-doctoral fellowships, and postgraduate research training, as well as enhancing overall academic research activities through joint research collaborations.
The two organisations also agreed that collaboration should take place between the HSRC and specific research programmes or groups at universities. Such an initiative brings together the diverse expertise of multiple institutions, allowing them to direct their energies toward a common purpose; namely, undertaking research that addresses economic, cultural, and social innovation and development.
The two institutions will convene a second meeting in October 2006 to review progress and to identify further areas for collaboration.
Source: Human Sciences Research Council (www.hsrc.ac.za)