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NWU's Optentia boasts new PhD in Relational Dynamics and Development

In another first for the North-West University (NWU), the Optentia research focus area recently announced the addition of an innovative new doctoral degree in Relational Dynamics and Development to its already impressive post-graduate repertoire.

The programme, Doctor of Philosophy in Social Sciences with Relational Dynamics and Development, is the first of its kind to be offered at any South African higher education institution and is set to deliver cutting-edge research that will inform policy, interventions and short learning programmes from an evidence-based perspective.

Prof Vera Roos, a senior research professor at Optentia, led the development of the new qualification, and says the new programme supports the dream of the NWU to become an internationally recognised university in Africa by intensifying research and innovation with a dedicated focus to study relationships across the spectrum of diversity, and on multiple levels.

She further explains that, given the uncertain time humanity finds itself in, people and communities are desperate to address the basic need of belonging and connectedness. "The PhD programme is very relevant and speaks to the mutual quest to find ways to engage more effectively and to reduce intergroup anxiety through relationships," explains Prof Roos.

She adds that South Africa desperately needs relationship-focused research to inform appropriate interventions and to develop policy addressing the lack of warm, respectful and ethical relational interactions. It is in this sphere that Optentia represents an optimal fit between the need of prospective students, capable and available supervisors and the interdisciplinary approach of the research focus area to research complex social issues.

For more information, please contact Prof Roos on (016) 910 3410 or (082) 925 7946, or send an e-mail to [email protected]