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South Africa has tripled its black science PhD graduates over the last decade

South Africa has tripled its black science PhD graduates over the last decade, and since 2013 has been graduating more black PhDs than white ones—a marked change from the situation under the apartheid regime. But the academic space still has a long way to go before it reflects the populations of the multi-racial country.

Black South Africans, although they make up the largest demographic group in the country at around 80%, were historically excluded from most higher education institutions, particularly research-intensive universities. Apartheid—with its policy of separate development—meant when South Africa’s democratic government took over higher education in 1994, it had to transform academia.

Research increasingly shows that diversity is vital for intellectual investigation. Research, at its heart, is about asking questions and trying to come up with answers or solutions. People from varied background come up with different research questions, alternate ways of looking to answer these questions, and can offer different perspectives in their solutions. They also unearths colleagues’ possible biases. The same is true for gender equality. Full Story


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