Department of Science and Innovation
DSI – Mr Bheki Hadebe

Statement on the importance of the Community of Practice on Postgraduate Education and Scholarship

The Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) welcomes the establishment of the Community of Practice on Postgraduate Education and Scholarship (CoP PGES) in South Africa.  The CoP PGES was established following a recommendation by a DSI-commissioned study, Building a Cadre of Emerging Scholars for Higher Education in South Africa.  The study, concluded in 2018, and also referred to as the Emerging Scholars Study Project or the “Silent Majority” Study, was project-managed by Universities South Africa, an organisation representing universities across the country.  Given its broad input, the CoP PGES constitutes a programmatic intervention toward implementing the outcomes of the study. 

The 2019 White Paper on Science, Technology and Innovation (STI), and the draft 2021-2031 STI Decadal Plan, both recognise the need to establish national, regional and institutional programmes and platforms to broaden access and inclusion in the research and innovation enterprise.  At the core of these documents is the establishment, on a shared services basis, of national, centrally managed and coordinated training and development platforms and knowledge resources.  The CoP PGES is both a real and a virtual platform for postgraduate students and researchers who share a scholarly passion for capacity building and research.  It will serve as a valuable tool for sharing experiences, expertise, good practices, novel lessons, continuous learning, and interactions towards addressing gaps and needs relating to postgraduate education, supervision, mentorship and networking across South Africa.