A/Prof Mary Masehela

Associate Professor Mary Masehela (nGAP Coordinator)

UCT has responded energetically to the New Generation of Academics Programme (nGAP), an opportunity provided by the Department of Higher Education (DHET) to build a new generation of black South African academics. The DHET’s 2015 vision document, “Staffing South Africa’s Universities Framework: A comprehensive, transformative approach to developing future generations of academics and building staff capacity”, proposes a suite of initiatives to address the challenge, with nGAP being the major instrument to increase the numbers of black South African academics.

The programme “involves the recruitment of highly capable scholars as new academics, against carefully designed and balanced equity considerations and in light of the disciplinary areas of greatest need”. The nGAP scholars are appointed into permanent positions where from the outset their conditions are customised to ensure their successful induction into the ranks of established academics.

The DHET provides funding over a six-year period to support the appointment of an nGAP lecturer, and their time is protected to provide the best possible opportunity for the completion of a doctorate degree in the shortest possible time. Once the degree is completed, the nGAP lecturer’s teaching commitments are steadily increased until they shoulder a full teaching load.

Since the first advertisement for nGAP posts in 2015, UCT has been awarded 32 nGAP positions: 5 (Phase 1), 4 (Phase 2), 3 (Phase 3), 5 (Phase 4), 5 (Phase 5), 5 (Phase 6), 4 (Phase 7) and 4 (Phase 8). These are distributed across all faculties.

UCT’s nGAP scholars operate as a single cohort, managed and coordinated by Associate Professor Langutani Mary Masehela. Lecturers meet for informal monthly meetings, writing retreats and various capacity-building activities all designed to support the completion of postgraduate qualifications (particularly doctorates) and to develop records of achievement that will testify to their emergence as self-standing, excellent academics. Each lecturer is mentored by a senior scholar, who provides support and guidance on the challenges that routinely face academics.

The nGAP coordinator sets great store in building the cohesion of the cohort and encouraging the establishment of new UCT networks while producing a collaborative, mutually supportive and embracing work culture.

According to Dr Morrell, former UCT nGAP manager, “This group of academics will lead UCT in 15 to 20 years’ time ... Their vision of excellence, of being African and South African, of serving a wider community and producing knowledge for the planet, the continent and the country, will power UCT in years to come.”

Location of the nGAP at UCT

Since its inception at UCT, the nGAP programme was located in the office of the DVC Transformation. The nGAP has since moved to Centre for Higher Education Development Faculty (CHED) at UCT. The nGAP office is led by Prof Langutani Mary Masehela as the coordinator and Ms Claudia Petersen as the administrator of the programme.

nGAP Team:

A/Prof Mary Masehela


Claudia Petersen (Administrator)


To find out more about the nGAP, visit the website