Wonders are ready to be discovered at the North-West University

NWU delivered 727 masters’ students and 261 doctoral students in 2021.

NWU delivered 727 masters’ students and 261 doctoral students in 2021.

Published Aug 8, 2022


By Bertie Jacobs

September 7, 1927. Or, July 9, 1941. What about April 14, 2003? And September 10, 2008? Inauspicious dates, all of them.

At the NWU we have learned to look closer. In chronological order, there was the first public display of an electronic television, then the breaking of the German’s secret Enigma Code in World War 2. Our next stop is the first time the human genome was mapped and seven years later the Large Hadron Collider was first started up.

All pivotal dates that defined the last century, not many of them known and all happened thanks to the painstaking research of committed individuals and groups. Research of the pillars upon which not only our daily lives, but our future is built, research is where imagination and the empirical meet, research is when an idea becomes a truth.

At the North-West University (NWU), research does not only play a pivotal role in its daily function, it is also where the university helps to change the world.

Beyond the NWU’s multitude of research centres of excellence, chairs, units, focus areas, niche areas, its hosted research entities and commercial research entities, the university also delivered 727 masters’ students and 261 doctoral students in 2021.

The scope of their research was vast, with all eight of the NWU’s faculties producing research both fascinating and implementable, both innovative and extraordinary.

In 2022, this trend has continued and all to the betterment of society. From looking to enhance the protection of South African social workers against client violence, how to manage children with developmental delays and disabilities in rural child and youth care centres, to the formation of a new drug delivery platform for improved viral vaccines by using Rift Valley fever is a case study, doctorates from the NWU has tackled a variety of issues.

One researcher looked at the dietary intake and breast cancer risk in black women residing in Soweto, whilst others looked beyond our borders, as one researcher showed by developing a conceptual framework for knowledge management in the water supply sector of Botswana.

Speaking of water, another doctorate student devised a conceptual model for a marine oil spills management system in South Africa.

Other studies included an examination of women political participation in the South West of Nigeria and an exploration of India’s national security strategy as an instrument of foreign policy towards Pakistan. When it comes to research at the NWU, there are no borders.

But, although the current crop of NWU researchers is delivering exemplary results, its is also ensuring that future generations of South Africans will continue to investigate, to study and explore.

There is a well-documented shortage of technical, engineering and technology skills in South Africa that is threatening the future well-being of the country. It is a dire outlook, one which the NWU is addressing through its Science, Engineering, Technology and Health (SETH) academy. This academy trains future engineers while still at school. Learners follow the normal school curriculum, but will also be given extra classes in SETH subjects.

Further aims of the SETH academy are to increase the output of engineering graduates and to increase the number of graduates from previously disadvantaged groups as well as female graduates.

With unceasing research output of the highest quality and initiatives such as the SETH academy, one cannot help but ask what wonders do future dates at the NWU hold?