Message from the director


RESEARCH FOCUS AREA: Social Transformation

Message from the Director 

Focus Area: Social Transformation established itself over the past 4 years as a leading research institution and a dynamo for change in the repositioning of the Faculty and Campus in a research orientated way. This perspective can be motivated in terms of a major improvement in article output, project research and the enrolment of master’s and doctorate students.

The Focus Area concentrates on the following research programmes namely:

  • Governance and Transformation.

  • Corporate Social Responsibility.

  • Social Dynamics.

  • Foundation Studies.

  • Water Studies.

  • Disaster Studies (established centre).

  • Communication in a transforming South African society.


It is my judgement that this Focus Area could be instrumental in the fulfilment of the University’s vision to be a pre-eminent University in Africa, driven by the pursuit of knowledge and innovation.


History of the Focus Area

The Focus Area: Sustainable Social Development was established in 2000, but was only fully operational in 2004. During 2006 the termination of the Focus Area: Sustainable Social Development was considered as the Director and the Secretary had resigned. The demands of the management model (research has to be managed in a focused manner) rather than the conviction that the focus was one hundred percent correct, facilitated the decision to continue with Focus Area: Sustainable Social Development. When Prof Duvenhage assumed his duties as Director of the Focus Area during October 2006 he found a Focus Area without any permanent staff. Most of the tasks were dealt with by the School of Philosophy as an emergency measure.

Since 2007 the Focus Area developed new research- and post-graduate programmes operating under a new name and management structure. Article output, post-graduate enrolment and project research improved in a dramatic way. During 2009 the article output of 57.75 was the highest on Campus and the NWU.

Currently Focus Area: Social Transformation is one of the leading research structures in the Faculty of Arts and instrumental in the repositioning of the Faculty as a research orientated institution and a dynamic force in the external environment.