The Ministry of Sport & Recreation South Africa and the Culture, Arts, Tourism, Hospitality and Sport Sector Education and Training Authority (CATHSSETA), today launched the sport 'Post-graduate Development Programme' at a media briefing held in Pretoria. The Programme is set to allow for a significant amount of post graduate research to be conducted to address the information and research gaps identified in the Sport, Recreation and Fitness sector.
The Sport Research Programme that is launched today has three key pillars, namely:
Applied Research programme (focusing on knowledge generation and to be implemented in partnership with the Department of Science and Technology and its agencies including the National Research Foundation in lieu of long term policy development)
Action Research programme (focusing on researching contemporary matters affecting sport in lieu of providing solutions and evaluating the current policies and programmes of sport)
Post-Graduate Development Programme (PDP).
The PDP is a partnership between Sport and Recreation South Africa (SRSA) and the Culture, Arts, Tourism, Hospitality and Sport Sector Education and Training Authority (CATHSSETA), which will allow for a significant amount of post graduate research to be conducted towards addressing the information and research gaps identified in the Sport, Recreation and Fitness sector.
The initiative to support post-graduate students in the sport sector is the third pillar of the sports research programme of SRSA and is in line with the National Sport and Recreation Plan (NSRP) that emphasises the importance of education and training in the sports sector. This, to improve the current sector landscape that is characterised by skill shortages, inadequately qualified individuals, and unemployed graduates.
Commenting on the initiative, the Sport & Recreation Minister, Mr Fikile Mbalula said that the 2013/14 financial year will be used to pilot the Programme. "A few students presenting on progress of their studies at the 2012 South African Sport and Recreation Conference (SASRECON) will be identified based on their research topics, to receive bursaries for the remainder of their studies. A full bursary scheme costing R9 174 over three years, will then be offered to a total of 30 post graduate students, comprising 10 PhD and 20 Masters Studies per annum over a period of three years as from 2014 onwards".
Representing CATHSSETA, its CEO, Mr Mike Tsotetsi said "this research will have a significant impact on CATHSSETA's and SRSA's ability to address not only skills development, but also employment creation needs in the sector by providing the sector with qualified sports scientists".
A CATHSSETA and SRSA Steering Committee will evaluate applications and select the prospective 30 bursary recipients from applications received. Bursary recipients will be required to present their proposals and findings at the South African Sport and Recreation Conference (SASRECON) and publish their studies in peer review journals. Each participating university will be required to give CATHSSETA and SRSA joint copyright to the research report.
To guide the research focus, both CATHSSETA and SRSA will draft themes and sub-themes relevant to the sport, recreation and fitness sector that the bursary recipients must align their research to, in order to qualify for the bursary. These may include for example, 'the impact of sport on social cohesion' and 'the impact of sport and recreation on the rehabilitation of children with a disability'.
The South African Public Higher Education Institutions that offer studies in the field of sport, recreation and fitness will be requested to identify potential bursary recipients, who will then be considered by the SRSA-CATHSSETA Steering Committee. The prospective students will be expected to meet the minimum admission requirements for the post-graduate qualification at the specific University where they seek registration. Once registered, the students have to meet the requirements to complete the qualification.
It is expected that the Programme will among other things, help refine and where necessary develop new methods for collecting sector skills information, which can then be used on an on-going basis by relevant role-players. It will also be used to gather and analyse sectoral information to establish baselines or updates on current information, using rigorous process that can then be applied on an on-going basis.