Listen to the entire session through the audio podcast.


You can view Prof. Wim de Villiers' slides here.

The capacity within HEIs to develop a new generation of researchers remains limited across much of Sub-Saharan Africa. This can hamper national political and economic aspirations to become “middle income” and “knowledge” societies within the foreseeable future. Could this lack of capacity also pose a threat to the international profile of, and international relations with, Sub-Saharan Africa?

  • What opportunities and challenges do PhD students and post doctorates face across Sub-Saharan Africa?
  • How are academic careers promoted or impaired? And how are national systems and strategies setting out to develop postgraduate capacity in the region?
  • What more can be done with the resource challenges faced? And how best could we collectively support the development of PhD and doctoral capacity?

Recent research sheds some light on these questions, including a jointly commissioned paper from British Council and DAAD which investigates the state of PhD capacity within 6 countries in SSA, and explores the ways in which this capacity and capability is being developed.

This session will hear a brief presentation of this study, and will take the views of institution leaders and international scholars to reflect on practical ways in which international collaboration, and international programme and provider mobility within the SSA region could help to build capacity and capability in institutions.


Chair | Dr Helmut Blumbach, Former Director, Regional Office for Africa of the German Academic Exchange Service (Kenya)

Dr James Otieno Jowi, Executive Director/Secretary General, African Network for Internationalization of Education (ANIE), Kenya

Professor Wim de Villiers, Rector and Vice-Chancellor, Stellenbosch University, South Africa

See also