Page 3 - UCT2012 Commerce

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Faculty of Commerce
received a Y rating. The faculty’s overall number of A
and B-rated researchers doubled in the last year.
A significant percentage of the research in the Commerce
faculty is directly related to the economic development
of South Africa and Africa. Government and international
development agencies and foundations continue
to be our overwhelmingly largest source of research
support. Significantly stronger involvement is urgently
needed from the main engine of economic growth and
capacity development, the private sector. There is near
unanimity among economists that an essential piece of
the foundational institutional nexus for sustained ’tiger‘
– or ’lion‘ – rates of national growth are strong academic
research hubs that work in close contact with innovative
firms. UCT’s Commerce faculty is among the very few parts
of South Africa’s tertiary education infrastructure that can
realistically aspire to be the centre of such a hub in the
short to medium term.
This requires persuading far more young South Africans
to become involved in research beyond the level of the
first degree than is currently happening. In particular, we
need more such participation from members of formerly
disadvantaged groups. Reduction of South Africa’s world-
leading level of inequality absolutely depends on the
success of this kind of transformation. UCT’s Commerce
faculty has the capacity to make game-changing
contributions to the country and the continent, but only
if corporate leaders join us in setting and overseeing the
research agenda. Businesses urgently need to foster an
atmosphere of excitement around commercial research
among young people. Our network of research partnerships
with companies has been growing dramatically, from an
almost non-existent base, but the scope for expansion in
this area is effectively limitless.
The epicentre of research output in the Commerce
faculty in 2012 remained our Africa-leading School of
Economics (SoE). The Southern African Labour and
Development Research Unit nurtures our two largest
research enterprises, the National Income Dynamics
Study and our activity as African host of the world-
renowned Jameel Lateef Poverty Action Laboratory,
based at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
The SoE also hosts five other strong research units
listed in this report. The Research Unit for Behavioural
Economics and Neuroeconomics hosted its second
annual workshop in experimental econometrics for
researchers from across Africa, whose travel and
accommodation was sponsored by UCT. The research
of the Development Policy Research Unit (DPRU) into
minimum wages yielded a series of publications in
2012, receiving significant public attention during the
violent labour conflict that disrupted the country’s
valuable deciduous fruit harvest in early 2013. The
DPRU’s partnership with the Africa Growth Initiative at
the Brookings Institution in Washington DC has also
been highly successful.
The culture of world-class research is by no means confined
to Economics, and now dominates all parts of the faculty.
The highest per capita rate of publication is in the
Marketing section of the School of Management Studies.
This is a remarkable achievement, given that our Marketing
academics also carry the faculty’s highest teaching loads.
The UCT Unilever Institute of Strategic Marketing is
the leading critical source of empirical research and
marketing intelligence for South African companies. In
the Department of Information Systems, the Centre for
Information Technology and National Development in
Africa (CITANDA), working especially closely with its
new corporate partner, Samsung, leads development of
customised mobile technology applications for businesses
and households in the region.
Academics in the Department of Finance and Tax, which
was launched at the beginning of 2012 are participating
in two collaborative research projects, on international
taxation with European institutions. Staff in the
College of Accounting are involved in a number of research
projects, including small business development and the
SA Global Entrepreneurship Monitor project, and have
collaborated with the South African Revenue Service and
the National Energy Regulator of South Africa. Academics
in the College worked with International Financial Reporting
Standards (IFRS) subject experts from Ernst & Young’s
EMEIA region (Europe, Middle East, India and Africa) to
develop a dataset of questions designed to determine how
IFRS is applied globally. In Actuarial Science, the Centre
for Actuarial Research (CARe) led a multiyear project,
funded by the United Nations Population Fund to update,
and rewrite a major manual on demographic estimation
from limited and defective data. Demographers at CARe
also played a publicly prominent role in the evaluation,
College of Accounting
School of Economics
Department of Finance and Tax
Department of
Information Systems
School of Management Studies
Graduate School of Business