The South African PhD: Insights from employer interviews

  • R Treptow
Keywords: doctoral education, Work Integrated Learning (WIL), HEQF, doctoral graduates, South Africa


Current international trends reveal that doctoral education is increasingly expected to satisfy workplace demands. In South Africa, Work Integrated Learning (WIL), introduced as part of the HEQF, is the principal initiative to facilitate greater relevance of higher education in the workplace. There has, however, been significant confusion regarding its precise definition and implications. This article presents insights gained from interviews conducted in 2009 with employers of doctoral graduates (located outside the higher education sector) regarding their expectations of doctoral education. The implications thereof for WIL are discussed and, based thereon, recommendations are made to facilitate greater workplace relevance for doctoral education in South Africa.

Keywords: doctoral education; Work Integrated Learning (WIL); HEQF; doctoral graduates; doctoral education; South Africa


Journal Identifiers

print ISSN: 0258-2236