The North-West University (NWU) is at the cutting-edge of research that seeks to embed community engagement and contribute meaningfully to people’s lives locally, continentally, and globally.
Prof Jeffrey Mphahlele, deputy vice-chancellor for research and innovation, is under no illusion about the intricacies involved in research and innovation, societal expectations of the importance of research, as well as governmental and multi-stakeholder views on the role of institutions of higher learning in this regard.
Barely two years into his crucial position as deputy vice-chancellor, he believes much has been achieved by the university’s research community, despite some inherent challenges within the sector.
“We need to be able to do research that is able to talk to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and research programmes that will endeavour to provide solutions to global challenges. In South Africa, we have problems of energy, water and food security. These are just examples of global challenges that are in SA, in the region and across the world,” explains Prof Mphahlele.
On 24 November, the NWU honoured and recognised excellence in research, innovation, community engagement as well as teaching and learning and other university operations.
Prof Mphahlele reckons it is these kinds of excellence awards that showcase the crucial role played by the university’s researchers.
Prof Mphahlele reflects on the crucial portfolio he heads and sheds light on current and future exciting research programmes and projects at the university.