Message from the Head of School
- Professor David Everatt
The Wits School of Governance is proud to offer students some of the most exciting, flexible and innovative degree programmes available.
For those entering the School in 2019, we have re-imagined and re-designed the curriculum, allowing more individual-driven intellectual pathways through our Masters, and ideally articulating into the doctoral programme.
The continual re-think and re-design stretch from our many new certificate courses, through the diploma and newly designed, flexible and innovative Master's, to the prestigious PhD programme, now also complemented by online offerings for students who may be anywhere in the world but want to be part of the WSG family. This includes our second cohort of Commonwealth parliamentarians, who begun the online section of their certificate in ‘Parliamentary fundamentals and basics’, and which was followed with contact sessions at WSG, recently.
A School like this one needs to remain relevant and focused on longer-term trends and immediate context (as it shifts and changes). This is challenging, given the unavoidably slow pace with which new qualifications have to be tested and evaluated, and so we have worked within what is available to us – complemented by the new staff that have joined us, bringing expertise in social policy, public policy, governance and ethics, legal issues, new approaches to security and more – in order to enrich the academic life of our students.
The same is true of our Visiting scholars, who include a wide range of highly skilled people, from Max Sisulu to Judith February, from former Cape Verde Finance Minister Cristina Duarte to Nobel Peace Centre Director Liv Tørres, former DG Mike Muller and American non-racialism researcher Michael MacDonald – and many more. All are available for guest lectures, some are offering full modules, while others are supervising Masters and PhD students. We do believe the School offers a rich variety of skills, talents and backgrounds to help meet the intellectual needs of our students.
No less important is the large amount of infrastructural improvement that is taking place, also a means of trying to enhance the experience of WSG students. We hope, over a 2-3 cycle (which has begun), to upgrade all teaching technology, while also making the place look new, fresh, professional and comfortable. The library has expanded its holdings, and there are exciting plans for re-imagining the function, purpose and ‘look’ of our library (and all others at Wits) as something fit for a 21st century student.
Applications for the places available at WSG are at a very high level, and competition for space is inevitable. We will take in more students next year, but we are already the largest School of our type around, and need to balance growth with quality and ensuring that academics are not over-loaded and can remain research active, publishing and participating in global research projects. Add to this our various public events series, and WSG remains a hive of activity, and we look forward to welcoming our 2019 cohort into this exciting environment.