A Possible Strategy for Developing and Supporting Relevant Research in the Humanities: The Case of Stellenbosch University, South Africa

By Maryke Hunter-Husselmann.

Published by The Humanities Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper describes how research management, as a higher education institutional support structure, can help to create opportunities for researchers in the humanities to do relevant and applicable research that will have an impact on society, while maintaining the academic imperatives of excellence and quality. As a developing country, South Africa relies heavily on its higher education system to produce knowledge that can be applied to address the needs of its society. In its Research and Development Strategy (2003), the South African Government places emphasis on the important contribution the humanities can make to the well-being of its people. Furthermore, the humanities have an important contribution to evidence-based policy formulation in a developing country context. Stellenbosch University, as a leading research-driven university in SA, is presented as a case study that demonstrates how a coherent research management strategy can provide new directions for the development of research and research-related activities in the humanities. Five core elements of such a strategy are discussed; namely (i) the introduction of strategic research themes; (ii) facilitating effective networking across disciplinary boundaries; (iii) research capacity building; (iv) maximizing research funding opportunities and (v) creative marketing.

Keywords: Humanities, Research Management, Higher Education, Institutional Support, Networking, Research Capacity Building, Research Funding, Marketing, Policy Formulation, Developing Country, Strategic Research Themes

International Journal of the Humanities, Volume 7, Issue 12, pp.115-126. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.204MB).

Maryke Hunter-Husselmann

Coordinator: Research (Human and Social Sciences), Dvision for Research Development, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, South Africa

Maryke Hunter-Husselmann has a Masters Degree in Social Science Methodology, Stellenbosch University, SA. She specialises in both qualitative and quantitative research methodology and is particularly interested in research management in higher education institutions. She has 7 years experience as a researcher and lecturer in sociology and for the past 5 years she has been involved in research management for the human and social sciences, with a particular focus on building strategic research networks and promoting interdisciplinary research initiatives, research capacity building, creating funding opportunities for researchers as well as effective marketing of research focus areas.

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