28 March 2019 | Story Thabo Kessah | Photo Thabo Kessah
Teboho Mofokeng
Postgraduate Student Council and SRC member, Teboho Mofokeng, says one degree is not enough.

Postgraduate studies play a crucial and critical role in the missions of our universities. They also contribute to the key and central mandate of the university – knowledge production, the dissemination, and application thereof.

The Campus Principal, Dr Martin Mandew, expressed this view during a welcoming function for postgraduate students on the Qwaqwa Campus. “Our Postgraduate School is the gateway that enables entry into higher degrees and qualifications. It is an extremely valuable resource and support reference point which is at the disposal of the students,” he said.

Postgraduate research and national development

Dr Mandew added that postgraduate research plays a very important role in national development, as it develops systematic investigation skills among young graduates for the purpose of making a contribution to what he termed ‘the national system of innovation’. “It also ensures that the country is competitive and enables the generation of knowledge that is responsive to societal needs, among others,” he said.

“Doing postgraduate studies is not easy,” he added. “Challenges that postgraduate students have to contend with, include funding and financial problems; lack of equipment; inadequate library facilities; access to research materials, and many more,” Dr Mandew said.

Support broadens knowledge and skills

In detailing the services offered by the Postgraduate School, the Director, Prof Witness Mudzi, assured students that they would experience an enabling environment to excel in the pursuit of their academic quests. “We will provide additional support to that provided by facilities and departments in the form of workshops, courses, and other presentations, which will equip the students with the requisite skills for successful completion of their postgraduate education.”

“The workshops and courses we offer are aimed at broadening your knowledge of research processes and methods. This would then positively influence throughput, publications, and the quality of research produced,” Prof Mudzi said to a packed venue.

Speaking on behalf of the SRC and the Postgraduate Student Council, Chairperson Teboho Mofokeng said that the event was held at a time when final-year students were asking themselves if it was worth continuing with postgraduate studies. “Do not take the decision to continue with your postgraduate studies lightly,” he said. “We work in a knowledge economy where specialised skills have significant commercial value. This means that in today’s competitive job market, it is often not enough to have only one degree,” said Mofokeng, a beneficiary of the school’s Mentorship Programme and master’s student specialising in Parasitology.

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