The Dean of Science at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), Professor Nithaya Chetty (right), says although it is laudable that the South African higher education produces 3000 PhDs, annually, and that Government has set targets to double that output to 6000 by 2025, universities must think long and hard about where those PhDs will be employed.

This is the question that Professor Chetty has been raising for the past two years in making a case for inculcating entrepreneurial thinking in especially PhD graduates. That thinking has led to Wits developing a Post-graduate Diploma in Innovation (PGDip Innovation), to be offered concurrently with the generic doctoral degree in a pilot set to be launched in 2023/24.

As Professor Chetty narrated the story of that programme to Universities South Africa’s Research and Innovation Strategy Group (RISG) on 9 June, he expressed belief that nurturing entrepreneurial thinking in students would benefit all universities with positive outcomes for society.