Human resources for science and technology: the next generation of scientists, scholars and knowledge professionals


This thematic area addresses the critical human resource challenges of the broader South African and African science systems. It aims to address questions such as: Are we producing enough scientists and academics for future science production and the expansion of the science system in South Africa (SA) and on the continent? Are we transforming the active human-resource base so as to ensure a more inclusive human-resource capability in SA? What are the trends in the production of postgraduate students (the university pipeline) and how can we optimally model and understand these trends? What are the migration and mobility trends of African scientists? All of these questions have to be disaggregated by scientific field, institutional type, demographics and time period.
The latter focus area also considers the major challenges faced in producing human resources for industry. This is a crucial issue in SA where it is often stated that the pipeline of engineers, technicians and artisans is very weak, and that there are major skills shortages in such positions. This is an important problem that needs to be addressed, as adequate human resources are crucial to the economic development of SA. It is also important to consider not only engineers or scientists but also technologists, technicians and artisans in this research focus area programme.