In an attempt to preserve skilled black graduates as academics, the University of Johannesburg has recently been given a cash boost from PetroSA in order to aid historically-disadvantaged learners within the areas of research, innovation and advancement.
The R3 million gift to the university stands out as the extension of the South Africa’s national oil company’s scholarship programme to finance black and female post-graduate applicants in the levels of Masters and PhD studies.
The programme commenced in 2009 and to date, a sum of R9 million has already been provided by the oil company, the donation is valued at R3 million a year, over three years.
Referred to as the Next Generation Scholars programme, it is designed to alter the face of postgraduate studies throughout the country by concentrating on the value of research results in universities.
PetroSA spokesperson Thabo Mabaso stated that the programme started out after the realisation that the majority of research at South African universities is presently being performed by mature, predominately male, white academics.
“A number of universities happen to be dependent upon post-retirement agreements with senior researchers to help maintain research outputs, the absence of a whole new generation of students is without a doubt having an influence on the longer term of academic research,” Mabaso explained, adding the fact that the company’s monetary gift facilitates with the discovering of new skilled research workers.
Students are generally chosen on grounds of their academic record, their specific skills and expertise for and disposition when it comes to an academic career, and whether or not their particular disciplines complement the UJ’s research and academic niches.
PetroSA’s Acting President and CEO Nkosemntu Nika stated the company is undoubtedly a proud innovator of cutting-edge technology and leaders in its field and as a consequence inspire the development and nurturing of academic skills.
“That is the reason why we have been active in the Next Generation Scholars programme, this will likely make certain that we establish a group of skilled young professionals, primarily from historically-disadvantaged communities not to mention this can only be good for the country,” said Nika.