Why South Africa's PhD candidates have almost doubled in the past decade

South African officials appear to be taking steps to ensure that the quality of doctoral education and degrees in the country meet international standards.

The number of doctoral candidates has more than doubled in the past 10 years.

Professor Sioux McKenna, an expert on postgraduate studies, says the rapid growth in doctoral candidates can be attributed to the changing nature of the PhD.

The professor explains that a doctorate is no longer a purely academic feat, but it's evolved into a useful tool to drive attention towards industrial, commercial, social and environmental issues.

In 2010 we had close to 1,500 doctoral candidates and now we are sitting at around 3,000.

Professor Sioux McKenna, Director - Centre for Postgraduate Studies at Rhodes University

We've had incredibly rapid growth in the number of doctorates and even around the world. In South Africa, the graph is particularly steep.

Professor Sioux McKenna, Director - Centre for Postgraduate Studies at Rhodes University

I think the nature of the doctorate has changed.

Professor Sioux McKenna, Director - Centre for Postgraduate Studies at Rhodes University

Listen to the discussion on Afternoon Drive with Joanne Joseph:

Image: Pexels.


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