Van Kent was speaking last week at the opening of the 5th Institutional Research Week that was held under the theme, “Research for Sustainable Innovation: Towards a Knowledge- Based Society.”
The Research Week, held annually, highlights the University’s research endeavours and recognises researchers who have put enormous effort into their studies. It is open to stakeholders of NUST and the public to underscore the relevance of research to national development.
Van Kent also used the platform to highlight his concerns about the low output of postgraduate candidates, an area that NUST is currently working on improving.
Dr Tjama Tjivikua, the Vice-Chancellor, said developing countries are facing a growing demand to strengthen their capacities for research and knowledge production and that NUST is determined to strengthen its research culture. ”I am pleased that recently our researchers were involved in developing the Investment Programme for Research, Development and Innovation as part of contributions to the National Development Plan 5,” he said.
During the course of the week, staff members delivered papers which focused on a wide range of topics such as cyber security, transport, energy and healthcare. The transformation of NUST means a greater focus on science and technology and research that seeks to address real-life problems.
Dr Tjivikua hinted at the possibility that NUST may consider conducting an assessment of its research performance. He said such a benchmarking exercise will enable the Institution to gauge what percentage of the research is outstanding with respect to originality, rigour and significance at international level. This, he said, would further show which projects have a noteworthy impact on communities as a whole.