year in review 2018 Paperturn - Page 54



TAPPING INTO SOUTH AFRICA’S
YOUTHFUL POTENTIAL
The New Generation of Academics Programme (nGAP),
a Department of Higher Education and Training initiative,
seeks to promote transformation by providing state funding
to assist universities to hire young scholars.
daughter team of Stephen and Lucy
Hawking. She is also heavily involved
in community schools, providing her
time and expertise in
a model of engaged scholarship.
Mbatha said, “Finishing off [my]
PhD with a full-time academic position
had its challenges, but it stretched me
to grow at a quicker rate than I ever
imagined... [nGAP made] it possible
for a young black female academic like
myself (and there are not many of us
around in the country) to realise my
dreams at an earlier stage of my life.”
In 2018 UCT grew its nGAP cohort
by appointing five new lecturers to
join the 12 appointed since 2015.
The cohort also includes associate
members – young academics at
a similar career stage.
The nGAP posts are earmarked
for black South Africans. At UCT,
the Centre for Higher Education
and Development has one post,
Commerce has four, Engineering &
the Built Environment two, Health
Sciences five, Humanities two and
Law one.
The nGAP lecturers meet regularly,
develop their skills (for example
in leadership training workshops)
and take part in writing retreats
that allow them to connect with
one another and with their mentors
– the senior academics who support
and advise them.
Among the nGAP lecturers are
Xolisa Guzula (School of Education)
and Philile Mbatha (Environmental
and Geographical Science).
Guzula has translated a book,
George’s Secret Key to the Universe,
originally written by the father-and-
NEXT GENERATION
PROFESSORIATE
Another transformation initiative is
UCT’S Next Generation Professoriate
(NGP) programme, which supports the
promotion paths of black and female
academic staff members. At the end of
2018 seven (out of 43) NGP members
were promoted to the level of associate
professor.
As the only mid-career
transformation project at UCT, NGP
has had to respond to questions from
52

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