Research & Innovation 2015-16 - Page 12



At the Graduate School of Business, we have
established the Bertha Centre for Social
Innovation and Entrepreneurship; and recently
we produced a massive open online course:
‘Becoming a Changemaker: introduction to
social innovation’ (led by Francois Bonnici,
director of the Bertha Centre).
All these interventions combine to instil an
expanding spirit of confidence that UCT is
a place where solutions to even the most
difficult problems are made possible.
Supporting research
Our Research Strategy 2015 to 2025 commits
us to continuing to develop the capacity to
support researchers at every level, through a
variety of mechanisms. The Research Office has a
justified reputation for providing a very high level of
support to emerging researchers through its Emerging
Researcher Programme, the programmes presented
by the Postgraduate Studies Office and the facilities in
the Postgraduate Centre and Funding Office, working
with UCT Libraries and the Centre for Higher Education
Development (CHED).
The actual business of enabling research –
applying for grants, entering into contracts
and ensuring compliance with the terms of
the grants – has received a massive boost
in that the university has invested in the
Converis system, which is currently
being rolled out and is intended to
deliver 21st-century technologyenabled support to researchers
during all the stages of the research
endeavour.
The future
What does the future hold for research
at UCT? There are important challenges
to be overcome; but if we do overcome
them, research at UCT will reach even
greater heights than it has scaled up to now.
What are these challenges?
One of the most important things that distinguishes
UCT is its character as a research-intensive university.
The central challenge for research-intensive universities
in South Africa in the immediate future will be to
convince all stakeholders – including government – that
they are essential elements of prosperity and well-being
in any country.
This is accepted in many developing and developed
countries, and everywhere this insight is translated
into funding regimes that enable these universities to
fulfil their mission – but not yet in South Africa. There
7 UCT RESEARCH & INNOVATION 2015–16
are obvious reasons why this issue is sensitive in South
Africa, since the privileging of research-led universities
can easily be seen as a mere continuation of past unfair
advantage.
A constant theme of my custodianship of the portfolio
for promoting and enhancing research at UCT has
been that UCT must strive to be a brilliant example
of a university in the developing world, which means
that it must both contribute to answering the big

Graduate School of Business Bertha Centre for Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship Bertha Centre for Social Innovation and EntrepreneurshipBecoming a Changemaker: introduction to social innovationBecoming a Changemaker: introduction to social innovation Centre for Higher Education Development Centre for Higher Education Development





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