students from local SKA surrounding communities since 2011. 14 - number of SKA Bursary funded students from local SKA surrounding communities studying at various universities. 8 – number of local schools in SKA surrounding communities where Human Capital Development (HCD) programmes are conducted such as robotics school competitions.
Human Capital Development (HCD) A significant return on South Africa’s investment in the international Square Kilometre Array (SKA) effort, and the construction and operation of the MeerKAT Radio Telescope, are the outputs of SARAO’s human capital development (HCD) initiatives. The exciting nature of the science and engineering of the project, as well as the availability of competitive scholarships, has attracted students to study relevant Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) degrees, and has created upskilling and employment opportunities for many South Africans. The establishment of the SARAO HCD Programme followed an instruction from the then Minister of Science and Innovation in 2005 to develop a community of scientists, engineers
The programme was necessarily devised in a structured and proactive way that is fit-for-purpose, for enabling SARAO to deliver on this unique and challenging mandate. and artisans to ensure that SARAO fulfil its primary mandate to build, operate and exploit one of the world’s largest scientific infrastructures - the SKA, as well as other world-class radio telescopes. The programme was necessarily devised in a structured and proactive way that is fit-for-purpose, for enabling SARAO to deliver on this unique and challenging mandate. To date, SARAO HCD has provided 1,279 grants to post-doctoral fellows, postgraduate and undergraduate students doing science and engineering degrees and research at universities, and universities of technology, and to students training to be artisans. In addition, the project is supporting five Research Chairs at South African universities. The research chairs have further increased the number of researchers and supervisors able to supervise postgraduate students and manage SKA and MeerKAT related research.