Welcome to the African Doctoral Academy
The African Doctoral Academy (ADA) serves to coordinate and strengthen excellence in doctoral education at Stellenbosch University (SU). This is achieved by utilising local and international expertise on doctoral research to provide doctoral support at SU together with partners elsewhere in South Africa, Africa and further internationally.
Since 2014 the ADA has been housed within the Postgraduate and International Office (PGIO) at SU and now aims to serve candidates across all disciplines. Its vision is to support, strengthen and advance doctoral training and scholarship on the continent across disciplines through an integrated holistic approach to contribute to global, regional, national and institutional objectives and priorities.
To date the principal mechanism for doctoral support has been the bi-annual ADA Summer and Winter Schools in research methodology and academic development.
Since the ADA’s inception in 2009, leading scholars have presented weeklong courses to doctoral candidates on topics ranging from PhD preparation, key concepts in methodology, academic writing skills, the use of qualitative and quantitative tools (SPSS and ATLAS.ti), survey and interview methods, publishing articles, and preparing for a research career (including training in doctoral supervision). The ADA schools have attracted participants from many other South African and African universities.
Most South African and African universities have identified doctoral scholarship as a critical requirement for the development of higher education and research production in the continent. In view of this the ADA serves as a unique resource to strengthening higher education and research in Africa. Stellenbosch University has over the past ten years established bilateral and multilateral relationships with many of Africa’s leading institutions and academic networks. By offering the programmes of the ADA to these partnerships and networks, the ADA is effectively positioned to consolidate and expand SU’s African networks. In view of this the ADA has secured a grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York to collaborate with doctoral schools at universities in Ghana, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Nigeria and elsewhere in Africa. This includes the establishment of regional and joint PhD training and exchange programmes.
Finally, the ADA will conduct research on the doctorate in Africa by appointing fellows of the ADA for periods of time. The goal is to generate a deeper understanding of the state of doctoral scholarship and research output in Africa’s different regions and to employ these results in the development of future training programmes for doctoral candidates and other researchers in Africa.
Ultimately the aim is to support knowledge production in Africa by increasing the number and the quality of doctoral graduates in South Africa and elsewhere in the continent.