Stellenbosch University welcomes the appointment of Prof Sarah Howie as director of the newly established Africa Centre for Scholarship (ACS). Prof Howie, who is the Deputy Chairperson of the board of the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) Board, will help drive SU initiatives to promote scholarship on the continent.
Located within Stellenbosch University International, the ACS will implement strategies for scholarship development in Africa. The centre houses the African Doctoral Academy (ADA) through which it participate in the South African System Analysis Centre with the University of the Western Cape, the University of the Witwatersrand and the University of Limpopo.
Taking the helm at the ACS, Prof Howie will work closely with faculties to help stretch SU's reach in Africa and; building on the work the ADA has done since 2009. For almost a decade now the ADA has supported, strengthen and advance doctoral training and scholarship on the continent hosting biannual doctoral schools. The doctoral schools are open to current and prospective doctoral candidates, their supervisors and researchers in general. In 2016, the ADA presented joint doctoral schools at Makerere University (Uganda), the University of Malawi as well as the University of Ghana. Earlier this year it hosted its first doctoral school at the University of Namibia.
Prof Howie, who previously worked as Director of the Centre for Evaluation and Assessment (CEA) at the University of Pretoria (UP) comes with a long list of credentials. A former professor in the Department of Mathematics, Science and Technology Education at the UP, she is a NRF rated and National Science and Technology Forum award winning researcher having conducted many research and development projects, published widely internationally and supervised more than 40 doctoral and master's students.
She is one of 12 SAQA Board members appointed by the Minister of Higher Education and Training to oversee the development and implementation of the National Qualifications Framework. She is member of the Universities South Africa Admissions Committee and Umalusi's assessment and standards committee ensuring the quality of the national examinations, including the Grade 12 National Senior Certificate. She has been a member of the Academy of Science for South Africa (ASSAF) since 2006 and sat on numerous local (including two ministerial) and international scientific committees. Her previous work at the Human Sciences Research Council and the Foundation for Research Development (now the National Research Foundation) provided a further opportunity to gain an overview of and experience in research and its development in the national and international landscape.
Referencing collaborations with partner universities, Prof Howie says the ACS will set itself a mission to help promote, support and enhance scholarship and the development thereof on the African continent.
“I am really looking forward to the new challenge of directing a new centre that focuses on supporting the development of scholarship and scholars in Africa and for Africa at Stellenbosch University."
Coordinating the activities of the Africa Centre for Scholarship, are from left: Diane Gahiza, Doctoral School Coordinator; Amalsha Galenhage, Intern; Prof Sarah Howie, Director; and Corina du Toit, Programme Manager of the ADA.
Photo: Hennie Rudman