More than 80 researchers presented papers at this year’s annual Research Day held under the theme: Creating Knowledge through Quality Research.

The event, for the first time ever, also featured academics and postgraduate students from the University of Zululand (UniZulu).

‘As a University we have always taken pride in being a research led institution and as the College of Law and Management Studies we have over the years invested a great deal of resources in our efforts to make additions to the body of knowledge without compromising the quality of our research,’ said the Acting College Dean of Research Professor Harold Ngalawa.

To set the tone, the Director of UKZN InQubate Ms Suvina Singh delivered a presentation titled: Commercialisation, Consultancy and Student Entrepreneurship in the College of Law and Management Studies, which highlighted the crucial role InQubate plays in commercialising academic research, which benefits society.

A plenary session began with UniZulu’s Deputy Dean of Research and Internalisation in the Faculty of Commerce, Administration and Law, Professor Irrshad Kaseeram’s presentation titled: The Anchoring of Inflation Expectations in South Africa. The presentation explored how low interest rates will enable the country to reach the economic growth rate needed to tackle unemployment and poverty in South Africa.

The rest of the day was broken up into three sets of six parallel sessions which included presentations across the four college disciplines including: the School of Accounting, Economics and Finance (SAEF), School of Management, Information Technology and Governance (SMIG), the School of Law and the Graduate School of Business and Leadership (GSB&L).

The day concluded with GSB&L’s Academic Leader Dr Muhammed Hoque and SMIG’s Professor Ziska Fields receiving awards for being among the Top 30 Published Researchers at UKZN for 2016. Economics PhD candidate Mr Adebayo Kutu received an award for being amongst the Top 10 Published students across the University in 2016.

Presenting closing remarks, the Dean of UniZulu’s Faculty of Commerce, Administration and Law, Professor Devi Tewari said the presentations were interesting and the research issues were topical.

Tewari pointed out that while there is a physical corridor between UKZN and UNIZULU, there is also a psychological corridor between the two institutions that needs to be explored. He explained that it is always encouraging when academics from different institutions share knowledge.

‘It’s interesting that in the last 10 to15 years, the narrative of an academic has changed. In the past, research was not part of an academic’s narrative but nowadays it is. It is a worthwhile positive culture to promote,’ he said.

Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Head of College of Law and Management Studies Professor Managay Reddi commended the academics and postgraduates who made the event a success.

‘I am absolutely delighted and enthused by the notion that there are so many young people here who are going to carry the baton of specialisation and leadership forward in terms of research and we have all the talent we need not to worry about the future of the Institution and our research outputs and PhD’s,’ she said.

Words: Sibonelo Shinga