South Africa: Is There a Doctor in the House? We Need More PhD Graduates

opinion

The debate in academic circles over whether South Africa is producing too many, or too few, PhD graduates is an important one. But it shouldn't be reduced to a quality over quantity issue - we need quality and quantity.

There is an interesting and troubling debate that seems to be bubbling under in South Africa when it comes to a PhD (Doctorate of Philosophy). It would be good that the debate in question comes to the surface and we engage robustly with those involved instead of sensationalising the issue and leaving it to sound bites on social networks.

Sioux McKenna recently indicated that there is a process to check the quality of doctorates in South Africa. Apparently, the National Research Foundation (NRF) and the Council on Higher Education (CHE) are sponsoring, if not leading, the said process. Incidentally, Brenda Wingfield explains the importance of a PhD on the same day that McKenna's article appeared in The Conversation. The NRF tweeted that the quality of PhDs would be assured by the Council on Higher Education.

In 2000 The Economist wrote about the "hopeless continent", referring to Africa. In 2012 it characterised Africa as a "hopeful continent". In 2010 it had written...

See What Everyone is Watching

More From: Daily Maverick

Don't Miss

AllAfrica publishes around 700 reports a day from more than 140 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.