More South African research chairs awarded to natural sciences

The stories

ON 3 March, the South African deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe, announced new chairs for an initiative meant to attract world class researchers into its universities.

The government has invested R1.1billion (US$104.7 m) into the South African Research Initiatives (SARChi) since it began in 2005.

A total of 150 chairs have also been awarded to date. Lets look at how the chairs have been distributed.

18 out of a total of 23 public universities have been awarded chairs. Here is the list of the 18 universities


UCT has the highest number of chairs at 32. UCT continues to maintain its position of Africa’s best performing university in rankings such as the QS World University Rankings.


The gender of only 54 of the research chairs was stated. Seventy-two percent of these are male.

A bulk of these chairs have been awarded to natural sciences

Number of chairs by discipline


Race is an emotive and topical  issue in South Africa so I had to analyse the distribution of research chairs for 54 research chairs whose race was mentioned. Only 10 of the chairs were awarded to the previously disadvantaged races (during the apartheid era), which are black, coloured and Indian


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