File picture: Tracey Adams/African News Agency.
File picture: Tracey Adams/African News Agency.

UCT releases report on maintaining excellence in research amid Covid-19

By Sisonke Mlamla Time of article published Jul 13, 2020

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Cape Town - UCT has released a report on how its research will be conducted during challenging times, to ensure its renowned excellence will be maintained. UCT deputy vice-chancellor for research and Internationalisation, Sue Harrison, said the report outlined the university’s research portfolio, including its research strategy and how it was implemented.

“It records the goals we have met and the successes we have achieved, but also acknowledges areas of risk and targets that have not yet been reached,” Harrison said.

The university recently released the Report on Research to Senate and Council Executive Summary, which focuses on rapid transformation extending beyond demographics to address university research, and on an enabling academic culture, and the opportunity they provide to create “a fair and just academic environment”.

According to the report, produced by the UCT Research Office, the university had 1826.56 publication count units with 14 authored books and 189 chapters in books.

The report also recorded 3232 journal articles with 3163 authors (all outputs), 251 conference proceedings and a R226 million subsidy income: publications. UCT has 512 National Research Foundation-rated researchers, 35 A-rated researchers, and 43 SA Research Chairs Initiative chairs.

The report also focused on the obstacles the university faced.

“The difficult space we found ourselves in during these past years has been exacerbated by the Covid-19 global pandemic and its myriad challenges.” Harrison said their investment in research meant that they could face the obstacles head-on. Each identified risk was accompanied by an action plan to address it.

“In some cases, this work is already under way; in others, it is still in the planning stage. But it demonstrates our commitment to ensuring the continued excellence of research at UCT. This is an integral part of who we are as a community and what we contribute to a better South Africa and a better world.”

According to the report, universities in South Africa are grappling with a plethora of new policies and legislation that raise new demands for compliance, for which institutions are ill-prepared. “Universities South African Forum is working with universities to fully understand the scale of the compliance imperative, how it will be done, by whom, and what the role of the different departments and individuals within universities will be,” said Harrison.

@SISONKE_MD

[email protected]

Cape Argus

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