Research at Rhodes
Our Research Philosophy
Rhodes University is committed to excellence in research and to further developing and maintaining its culture of research.
The University also views research as a means of addressing the developmental needs of South and southern Africa in addition to international needs as defined in policies and initiatives such as NEPAD and others.
The contribution of research to teaching is also emphasized since cutting edge research impacts strongly on approaches to teaching and produces analytical and creative graduates with a lifelong love of learning who will be innovative and creative and can assume leadership roles in their respective fields.
Rhodes University encourages intra- and inter- disciplinary collaboration within the University and its associated institutes as well as with other South African institutions particularly those in the East Cape region.
Current research strategies include increasing the number and quality of its postgraduates and research outputs, an increased regional research focus and collaboration while building on international links and activities, sourcing increased internal and external funding opportunities and fostering research in identified niche areas as well as in innovative and entrepreneurial fields.
Rhodes possesses an admirable research environment and culture that provides the space for intellectual development, debate and the flourishing of ideas. Accordingly, we strive to stimulate and facilitate imaginative and rigorous research of all kinds (fundamental, applied, policy-oriented, etc.), and in all disciplines and fields.
This is evidenced by the large number and diversity of conferences, seminars and public lectures that are held annually, the important contributions that a number of academics make to national public debate, enhancing the visibility of Rhodes in the intellectual life of South Africa, and the quality of local and international academics that visit Rhodes.
Ongoing research takes place across the 6 Faculties of Commerce, Education, Humanities, Law, Pharmacy, and Science, Research Institutes, Affiliates and related groups.
Although we are the smallest university in South Africa (only 6 700 students in 2009), the student profile and research outputs (publications, Masters and Doctoral graduates) of Rhodes ensure that we occupy a distinctive place in the overall South African higher education landscape.
For one, almost 25% of Rhodes’ students are postgraduates. The fact that they hail from a large number of countries helps to ensure that Rhodes is a cosmopolitan and fertile environment of thinking and ideas. For another, Rhodes has among the best research outputs of South African universities, a testimony to the dedication and passion of its academics, postdoctoral scholars and senior postgraduates for research, and the University’s commitment to nurturing and cultivating knowledge production of all kinds.
Many of Rhodes’ academics, departments and centres and institutes are at the cutting-edge of
research and are helping to advance the frontiers of knowledge in a number of disciplines and fields.
Significant achievements include:
- The award of prestigious National Research Foundation Research Chairs to Professors Nyokong (Chemistry) and McQuaid (Marine Science)
- The housing of a new nanotechnology centre at Rhodes
- The contribution of Rhodes academics and graduates to the SKA initiative
- Rhodes postgraduates continue to excel in winning prestigious international and local scholarships, including Mandela Rhodes and Flanagan Scholarships