Sky’s the Limit for PhD Student

Recipient of a UKZN Doctoral Research Scholarship, Mr Amil Nundkumar will be able to pursue his doctorate in Administration without worrying about the costs of conducting his research.

The Scholarship is one of the University’s most prestigious awards for postgraduate students. Awarded from the Institution’s own funds, it targets a maximum of four top PhD candidates.

‘After completing school, I chose not to attend university as I did not want to burden my parents financially but opted to undertake technical studies at a college. I am 51 and a late bloomer so this achievement will hopefully inspire the younger generation in my family,’ said Nundkumar.

A member of the management team at Elangeni TVET College in Pinetown, Nundkumar has been working and studying part-time for more than 25 years. He has witnessed the various developments in the South African public college sector from Technical Colleges, to Further Education and Training Colleges and now Technical and Vocational Education and Training Colleges.

‘Given my long career in the public service, I decided to pursue studies in public administration. This is topical given the ethical and service delivery challenges the country is currently facing. The Zondo Commission on state capture highlights this issue. This scholarship will allow me to focus on my research without having to worry about financial constraints,’ said Nundkumar.

With the avid support of his supervisor, Professor Mogie Subban, Nundkumar is looking forward to making the most of his PhD journey.

‘I plan on writing more journal articles with my academic mentor, Professor Subban who has been a driving force in my master’s and doctoral journey. This qualification and future journal publications will contribute to further discussions and possible improvement in TVET Colleges’ achievements. These colleges are regarded as the vehicle for skills development in South Africa and further research in this area will assist in enhancing their performance,’ he said.

Words: Thandiwe Jumo
Photograph: Sthabiso Mkhonza