In 2009, over R97 million was raised from six major postgraduate-funding sources, with departmental scholarships accounting for over R40 million and the National Research Foundation for another R26 million. This funding goes towards scholarships, as well as support to international students and conference and international travel. Departmental scholarships are derived from funds raised by individual academics and/or departments. Table 1 provides a detailed breakdown of these awards.

In line with UCT’s strategic goals to internationalise and develop research at UCT, and because senior postgraduate students play an important role in the University’s overall research enterprise, opportunities that support international students, conference and international travel and exposure, as well as some that provide specific support for research, are offered. Some of these funding programmes are shown below.

UCT Scholarships for International and Refugee Students

Many international and refugee students are supported by their supervisors and other fundholders in the academic departments. However, there is one UCT Council-funded and centrally managed scholarship programme. In 2009, 106 awards were made to international and refugee students to a total of R2,751,470. Of this total, R824,500 was contributed to the programme by the Eric Abraham Scholarship fund for refugee students.

UCT Conference Travel Grants

In 2009, 32 master’s and doctoral students travelled to present papers at conferences in international destinations such as Canada, Finland, Greece and Kenya, as well as at various South African venues.

The UCT Scholarships for International Travel

These awards allowed 22 master’s and doctoral students who are registered for full-time research degrees to travel to any approved international institution for between two and 10 months, to conduct research, attend courses or visit specific laboratories. The countries visited in 2009 included Ghana, Kenya, and Brazil, as well as institutions across Europe and North America.

The UCT Research Associateships

These highly prestigious awards were established to recognise the supervisor/student research team. Each year a limited number of awards are made to students, with a monetary contribution to the recipient’s supervisor. Such funds are intended to assist with the cost of ongoing research and/or to provide means for travel to conferences or for research purposes. In 2009, 19 master’s and doctoral students received Research Associateships to a total value of R780,000.

Funding awarded by donors

Postgraduate students and Postdoctoral Research Fellows (PDRFs) at UCT are supported by generous grants from donors. These include:

  • the Harry Crossley Foundation, which has provided support to postgraduate students and PDRFs for many years. In 2009, one postdoctoral research fellowship, 22 research fellowships, and over 100 needs-based bursaries worth over R2 million were awarded.

  • the AW Mellon Cross-Faculty Scholarships, which provided support valued at R1,644,000 to 24 master’s and eight doctoral students.

  • the D & E Potter Fellowship Programme, which supported 13 master’s and doctoral students to a total value of R1,080,000. These full-cost fellowships include allowances for travel, research and seminars.

  • the UCT/Woolworths Fellowship and the UCT/CSIR Scholarships Programmes, which provided support to five (total value R487,500) and nine (total value R655,000) students respectively.


Top prize for PhD graduate

The Council of the Economic Society of South Africa awarded Dr Tia Linda Zuze, a research affiliate in UCT’s South African Labour and Development Research Unit (SALDRU), its 2009 Founders’ Medal for a PhD dissertation in recognition of her excellent research thesis, Equity and Effectiveness in East African Primary Schools. Her PhD work, undertaken as a Graduate Associate in SALDRU, was enabled by a Spencer Foundation Scholarship awarded through the School of Education at UCT. Zuze said she was honoured that her thesis was not only judged the top PhD thesis in the School of Economics at UCT in 2008, but also emerged victorious from a strong pool of candidates from economics departments across the country. “I'm honoured to receive this award. It's a real tribute to the excellent academic support that I received while at UCT. Writing a thesis is always a challenge but I feel that, through this process, I've grown as a researcher. I'm still passionate about finding ways to make education and training fairer and more relevant for young people in Africa. So perhaps this is a first step in a longer journey.”


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