The Graduate School of Economic and Management Sciences (GEM), a unit in the Dean's office, is responsible for the full-time PhD programme of the Faculty of Economic and management Sciences.The unit has been operational since January 2014 and saw the arrival of its first cohort of 10 doctoral scholars on the 20th of the same month.
The objectives of the Graduate School are to:
- Provide a partially structured programme for full-time, residential doctoral education across all the departments of the Faculty (the Graduate School's calendar of events are provided below).
- Greatly increase the Faculty's number of PhD graduates.
- Broaden access to the doctoral education in economic and management sciences, and
- Continuously develop and provide effective support structures for PhD studies within the Faculty.
Graduate School Model of Doctoral Education
In the Graduate School model, students are carefully screened after submitting applications in line with research themes spread across the Faculty. Successful students are, subsequently, awarded a substantial scholarship (R138 000 p.a.) for a period of three years. New participants enter the programme in January as part of a cohort, which forms a supportive, scholarly unit for the remainder of their studies. To ensure a maximal likelihood of students completing their doctoral studies within three years, the following supportive measures are put in place:
- In the first year of study, students take part in a partially structured programme that provides the skills required to undertake doctoral research. This is achieved by providing students with supplementary support in the form of workshops and courses, targeted to ensure the generic skills required to do a PhD is in place. These workshops are mainly sourced from the existing service providers at Stellenbosch University (such as the Postgraduate and International Office and African Doctoral Academy and courses offered within departments).
- Possible skills gaps at the individual level are proactively identified and addressed in collaboration with the Graduate School candidates.
- Aside from financial support, full-time PhDs are provided with infrastructural support, in the form of laptops and seating within the faculty.
- In addition, the progression of projects are actively monitored, through a series of progress reports, in collaboration with the responsible study leaders.