As a developing country, South Africa relies heavily on its higher education system to produce knowledge that can be applied to address the needs of its society. In its Research and Development Strategy (2003), the South African Government places emphasis on the important contribution the research has to improve the well-being of its people. Furthermore, research has an important contribution to make to evidence-based policy formulation in a developing country like South Africa.

This poster will show how science communication, as an integral part of effective research management in Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) can assist to create opportunities for researchers in South Africa to do relevant and applicable research that will have an impact on policy formation and contributes to the concept of science for society, while maintaining the academic imperatives of excellence and quality.

Public interest in science is growing in South Africa and the media can play an enormous role in showcasing the competitive edge of institutions. Although this function normally lies within marketing and communication divisions within universities, research management offices have to realize that to stay competitive and effectively support research activities, they have to not only provide up to date statistics and information on research outputs, for example, but they have to also play a role in disseminating research results to different stakeholders such as possible future collaborators, funders, postgraduate students and overseas investors.

It has therefore become more and more important for research managers to include in their strategy an element of science communication. Stellenbosch University, one of the leading research-driven universities in South Africa, is presented here as a case study to demonstrate how science communication, as part of a coherent research management strategy can provide new directions for the development of research and research-related activities. The poster will show how science communication feeds into the core elements of this strategy, namely (i) the introduction of strategic research themes; (ii) facilitating effective networking across disciplinary boundaries; (iii) research capacity building; (iv) maximizing research funding opportunities and (v) creative marketing.

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Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

Science communication as an integral part of effective research management in higher education institutions in South Africa

Maryke Hunter-Hüsselmann   Division for Research Development, Stellenbosch University

As a developing country, South Africa relies heavily on its higher education system to produce knowledge that can be applied to address the needs of its society. In its Research and Development Strategy (2003), the South African Government places emphasis on the important contribution the research has to improve the well-being of its people. Furthermore, research has an important contribution to make to evidence-based policy formulation in a developing country like South Africa.

This poster will show how science communication, as an integral part of effective research management in Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) can assist to create opportunities for researchers in South Africa to do relevant and applicable research that will have an impact on policy formation and contributes to the concept of science for society, while maintaining the academic imperatives of excellence and quality.

Public interest in science is growing in South Africa and the media can play an enormous role in showcasing the competitive edge of institutions. Although this function normally lies within marketing and communication divisions within universities, research management offices have to realize that to stay competitive and effectively support research activities, they have to not only provide up to date statistics and information on research outputs, for example, but they have to also play a role in disseminating research results to different stakeholders such as possible future collaborators, funders, postgraduate students and overseas investors.

It has therefore become more and more important for research managers to include in their strategy an element of science communication. Stellenbosch University, one of the leading research-driven universities in South Africa, is presented here as a case study to demonstrate how science communication, as part of a coherent research management strategy can provide new directions for the development of research and research-related activities. The poster will show how science communication feeds into the core elements of this strategy, namely (i) the introduction of strategic research themes; (ii) facilitating effective networking across disciplinary boundaries; (iii) research capacity building; (iv) maximizing research funding opportunities and (v) creative marketing.

A copy of the full paper has not yet been submitted.

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