30 September 2022

The Excelleration Award acknowledges South African institutions for achieving the most improved research performance over recent years as evaluated by independent parties and measured against a selection of critical indicators. UMP is the eighth South African University to win the Excelleration Award since the award was introduced.

The Vice-Chancellor of UMP, Professor Thoko Mayekiso, a C3 Rated Researcher (2013 – 2018; 2019-2024) received the award on behalf of the university. Professor Mayekiso believes that the award is an acknowledgement that UMP is on track in pursuit of its vision of being: An African University leading in creating opportunities for sustainable development through innovation.

“One of our strategic goals is to create and support an environment that fosters research quality, impact, and productivity. We have witnessed over the years an increase in the numbers of staff with doctoral degrees, NRF-rated researchers, research outputs and funding for research as well as scholarships for honours and master’s students. We congratulate our researchers on this achievement,” said Professor Mayekiso.

UMPCEO of the National Research Foundation of South Africa, Dr Fulufhelo Nelwamondo.

Viewed as the benchmark for research excellence, the annual NRF Awards recognise individual academics and teams for their recent outstanding scientific achievements. Their internationally competitive work is assessed for, among other things, the contribution to the field of study focusing on quality and impact on society.

Congratulating the winners, Deputy Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology, Mr Buti Manamela said, “It is also quite pleasing to see that the recipients are an eye of the demographics of our society. Of course, as noted in the report of the National Research Foundation, a lot more needs to be done.

Not only by you (as the NRF) but by all of us, institutions of higher learning particularly universities and universities of technology, for us to see more and more black and women researchers being recipients of awards.”

UMPSpeaking at the event, Deputy Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology, Mr Buti Manamela.

Mr Manamela further added that scientists were important to society and that countries train scientists and researchers with the expectation that, through their specialised knowledge, they would lead humanity in the search for solutions to the day-to-day problems of human existence.

CEO of the National Research Foundation of South Africa, Dr Fulufhelo Nelwamondo, said, “As we invest, we’re guided by our mandate. Our mandate includes the advancement of excellence in research in South Africa; it includes the support and development of the necessary human and infrastructural capacity; it includes leading and managing key national facilities; addressing the relationship between science and society and the promotion of a national science system.

It is thus very important for us to acknowledge and celebrate the contributions that were made by the shining stars of our country’s scientific cohort, researchers, and institutions alike who have committed themselves to scientific excellence that explores uncharted territories to create a more socially conscious and sustainable future for all members of our society.”

The University of Mpumalanga currently has seven NRF rated researchers: three C2 rated researchers, three C3 rated researchers and a Y2 rated researcher.

@ Additional information and pictures: National Research Foundation.