“Disrupt the system,” “flip the model”, “change the rules” – these were just some of the provocative statements heard at a recent symposium on developing the capacity of early career researchers organised jointly by Universities South Africa (USAf) and the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU).

Hosted by the University of Johannesburg and welcomed by Vice-Chancellor, Professor Tshilidzi Marwala, the symposium brought together university leadership, senior academics and researchers, representatives from the Departments of Higher Education & Training (DHET) and Science and Technology (DST) as well as the National Research Foundation (NRF).  Participants from other parts of the African continent representing their higher education systems were also in attendance. The 70-strong delegation assembled to engage on Developing the Capacity of Early Career Researchers, a topic of critical importance for the sustainability of the higher education sector and the future of the research enterprise in the country.