NWU's researchers receive accolades

Issued by North West University
North-West, Nov 5, 2018

The North-West University's (NWU's) Faculty of Theology's researchers are leading the pack when it comes to awards for excellence and productivity.

The faculty took top honours at the vice-chancellor's Research and Innovation Excellence Awards, winning in both the Most Productive Researcher and Most Productive Research Entity categories.

It was followed by the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, which won the prestigious title of Most Productive Junior Researcher, just as it did last year.

The vice-chancellor's Research and Innovation Awards ceremony took place on 26 October at the Roots Lifestyle Centre, in Potchefstroom. Many outstanding staff members were acknowledged at the event for their excellence in research, innovation, community involvement and creativity in 2017.

The Most Productive Researcher is Prof Marius Nel of the Faculty of Theology. The focus of his research is African Pentecostalism and its hermeneutical perspectives. Prof Nel investigates the influence of African Pentecostalism on different ways of reading and interpreting the Bible. He has worked with one of America's best known theologians, Stanley Hauerwas, on a book about Pentecostal hermeneutical awareness and pacifism.

Dr Josh Chukwuere, the NWU's Most Productive Junior Researcher for 2017, is active in the field of technology acceptance. His research within the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences involves culture-oriented technology (culturetech), social media versus social lifestyle and cyber bullying, and the journey from decolonisation to digitalisation, among others.

For the fifth consecutive year, the award for the Most Productive Research Entity went to Reformed Theology and the Development of the South African Society, a research unit in the Faculty of Theology.

Prof Louis Kotz'e of the Faculty of Law received the Leadership in International Research and Advisory Organisations Award. This award is given to NWU staff members who contribute to exceptional leadership in international organisations, institutions and committees of importance.

Prof Alta Schutte, of the Faculty of Health Sciences, was honoured with the award for Most Cited Researcher at International Level. She is part of the NWU's Hypertension in Africa Research Team (HART) and was recently elected president of the International Society of Hypertension (ISH), becoming the only representative from Africa ever to take the helm of the society.

Research with impact

Prof Refilwe Phaswana-Mafuya, deputy vice-chancellor for research and innovation, said the NWU has a notable national and international profile and impact. It is ranked among the top 10 South African universities and in the top 1 000 globally due to the hard work and dedication of its researchers and innovators.

Prof Dan Kgwadi, vice-chancellor, congratulated all the award recipients. He said the NWU is proud of the high calibre of researchers and their exceptional contributions to the South African and international landscape.