Postgraduate critical mass for sustainable development : experiences from Durban University of Technology
Chule, Siyabonga Goodwill
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Human capacity growth is analyzed quantitatively and tackled critically for the functional purpose of meeting the chal-lenges of sustainability in the South African context. The progression of Bachelor of Technology degree (BTech) stu-dents is studied for the academic period 2004-2014 as these form a potential pool of postgraduate candidates at the Durban University of Technology (DUT). The first objective of the research study involved analyzing the enrolment and graduation rates. The second objective was to assess the type of enrolments (part-time/full-time) and to correlate the gender, the ethnic groups and the demographic factors. The third objective was to quantify the academic year fre-quencies for graduates in the enrolled qualifications and finally the authors evaluated and scaled the popularity of qua-lifications in the respective faculties. The findings in this research indicated a ‘strong growth’ of expertise for the human capacity development, presented by a concentrated large number, at an erratic progress for sustainability of the potential pool of postgraduate students. The indicated ‘strong growth’ was found in the Management Sciences Faculty within the Business Studies Unit, and in Civil Engineering in the Civil Engineering and Surveying Department. The lack of strong growth in other areas within some of the qualifications in faculties could be due to a lack of the diverse expertise in other disciplines of Manage-ment Sciences and Engineering amongst other reasons. In the Applied Sciences the low numbers of scientists indicates the low throughput as a reflection of low enrolments. The enrolments numbers are low but there is a huge potential as demand continues to increase so to realize the skills targets in the knowledge economy as outlined by the South African National Development Plan targets for 2030. Addi-tionally, the high numbers of engineers are key towards South Africaâ€™s infrastructure development.
Chule, S., Dzwairo, B. and Moyo, S. 2015. Postgraduate critical mass for sustainable development : experiences from Durban University of Technology. Environmental Economics. 6(1): 172-194.