Research & Innovation 2015-16 - Page 13

science questions, and respond meaningfully
to solving the problems that face the
country and the region. I am proud to
say that UCT has evolved – naturally,
and not because of my exhortations –
into such a university: the excellent
science that we have always done
has increasingly been infused with
a mission to be engaged with the
communities that we serve in
our city, country and continent,
and to direct our efforts towards
responding to their needs.
Browsing through this report,
I think, proves this claim
beyond any doubt; but our
immediate task is to communicate
effectively how we serve our
country with everything that
we do. And importantly, to show
– by transforming ourselves into a
university that truly is representative of
and serves all the people of our country –
that investment in us is a good thing.
This leads to the next part of the challenge
that the immediate future poses: researchintensive universities are expensive, and, although
an important part of the task of making the case
for such universities is to argue for the necessary
level of investment – in people, infrastructure
and equipment – we should not only work for an
appropriate investment in research universities:
we should also stand up to those who exploit
universities. Here I have in mind the big publishing
houses, who by securing rights over multiple
electronically-available journals, have become the
pirates of the 21st century, exacting huge harvests
where they have hardly sown.
This is a battle that has begun: there remains a lot to
be done, but it is picking up momentum, and we can
say that we are at least at the end of the beginning.
The importance of this advocacy role for securing
our future cannot be overstated, but we must also
face the fact that in the end, most research is paid
for by outside grants. Therefore, we must become
increasingly adept at securing research grants,
and be prepared to prioritise our own resources to
support research that cannot be funded by grants.
This is the task of internal advocacy – we must be
able to demonstrate that appropriate cost-recovery
is a good and necessary thing, because it is used to
provide services that enable research and make the
work of researchers more effective.
and in the International Academic Programmes
Office for the superb support that I have received
over the years and for the great work that each
and every member of these offices do each day for
our university. It has been an enormous privilege to
serve with you. It is also a great pleasure to extend
a warm welcome to my successor, Professor Kgethi
Pakeng, and to wish her every success for the
important work that lies ahead.
I would like to thank all my wonderful colleagues
in the Research Office (including the Postgraduate
Funding Office and the Office of Postgraduate
Studies), in Research Contracts and Innovation,
Portrait of Danie Visser by Michael Hammond. Images
on page 8 by DARPA, Wikimedia Commons and Ecole
polytechnique Université Paris-Saclay, Flickr.
All other images by Michael Hammond.

Wikimedia Commons Flickr

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