O MINISTRO DE EDUCAÇÃO SUPERIOR DA ÁFRICA DO SUL CONVOCOU UM GRUPO DE REFERENCIA INTERNACIONAL PARA APRECIAR UMA CARTA PARA AS HUMANIDADES E AS CIENCIAS SOCIAIS E TENHO A HONRA DE SER PARTE DESTE GRUPO. VEJAM AS RAZÕES QUE LEVARAM A ÁFRICA DO SUL A PRODUZIR ESTA CARTA E REORIENTAR SEU TRABALHO EDUCACIONAL E CIENTÍFICO EM DIREÇÃO ÀS HUMANIDADES E AS CIENCIAS SOCIAIS. ESTE EXEMPLO DEVE SER ESTUDADO COM CARINHO NO BRASIL POIS SOMOS OBJETO DE UMA MESMA VISÃO DO MUNDO PRODUZIDA E DIFUNDIDA DESDE OS CENTROS IMPERIALISTAS MUNDIAIS QUE NÃO SOMENTE IGNORAM NOSSA CULTURA E NOSSA SUBJETIVIDADE MAS SE PREOCUPA MESMO EM ESMAGA-LAS COM AS ARMAS E COM A DEFORMAÇÃO IDEOLÓGICA. GRANDE INICIATIVA!
Charter for Humanities and Social SciencesInternational Reference Group
Name Current Position & previous positions
1 Professor Hernes Gudmund President, International Social Science Council.
Formerly President of the International
Sociological Association, served as Minister of
Education (Norway), Research and Ecclesiastic
Affairs, joined UNESCO as Director of the
Paris-based International Institute for
Educational Planning, and was UNESCO’s
Coordinator for HIV/AIDS in the period 2001-
2 Professor Theotônio dos Santos Brazilian economist and political scientist,
Emeritus Professor of Universidade Federal
Fluminense (UFF). Coordinator and Chair of
UNU-UNESCO network of Global Economy and
3 Dr. Heide Hackmann Secretary-General International Social Science
Council. Previously, Head of International
Relations and Quality Assessment, Royal
Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences
(KNAW), The Netherlands; Policy positions at
The Human Sciences Research Council of
4 Professor Maurice Aymard General Secretary of the International Council
of Philosophy and Humanities (ICPHS).
Formerly Vice-Director and the Director of the
Maison des Sciences de l'Homme created by
5 Professor Mridula Mukherjee Director of the Nehru Memorial Museum and
Library; Professor of Modern Indian History at
Centre for Historical Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru
6 Dr. Johnnetta Cole Director of the National Museum of African Art.
Scholarly Advisory Board member of the
Smithsonian’s National Museum of African
American History and Culture. Previously,
Presidential Distinguished Professor of
Anthropology, Women’s Studies and African
American Studies, Emory University in Atlanta.
7 Dr. Ebrima Sall Executive Secretary of the Council for the
Development of Social Science Research in
Africa (CODESRIA). Previously, Senior
Researcher at the Nordic Africa Institute (NAI)
in Uppsala (Sweden) and Director of the Centre
for the Promotion of Village Savings and Credit
Associations (VISAC) Gambia.
8 Princess Basma Bint Talal of Jordan An Advisory Board member of the Centre for
the Advanced Study of the Arab World, member
of the Council of the United Nations University
9 Professor WuYin Vice President of the Chinese Academy of
Social Sciences (CASS).
CARTA DO MINISTRO DE EDUCAÇÃO SUPERIOR
6 October 2010
Media Statement on the development of a Humanities and Social Sciences Charter
Higher Education and Training Minister Dr Blade Nzimande has launched a new
initiative to rejuvenate and strengthen the social sciences and humanities in South
Africa’s higher education system. A team led by Professor Ari Sitas from the
University of Cape Town, and assisted by Dr Sarah Mosoetsa from the University of
the Witwatersrand, has been appointed to develop a charter aimed at affirming the
importance of human and social forms of scholarship.
These areas have increasingly been downplayed as a result of the priority focus on
natural sciences, technology and business studies. Since 1994, government has
focused attention on developing ‘scarce and critical skills’. While supporting these
initiatives, Minister Nzimande has become concerned with the relative neglect of the
social sciences and humanities in universities and other post-school institutions.
Prof. Sitas’ team will examine existing initiatives and explore innovative programmes
in South Africa as well as in other developing and developed societies. As part of the
initial phase of the project a South African reference group has been established to
advise and assist the task team. An international reference group is in the process of
being established and will include leading academics from Brazil, China, France,
India, Jordan, the Netherlands, Norway, Senegal, and the USA.
Launching the project, Minister Nzimande said the social sciences and humanities
played an extremely important role in South Africa’s liberation struggle in
undermining apartheid pseudo-science and apartheid history, as well as helping to
reclaim and build democratic traditions.
“Social and political theory have been central to creating an understanding of how
our society has functioned, and the work of South African social scientists, historians
and writers was of great assistance in helping our leaders and people to guide our
struggle. In the last two decades, the social sciences and humanities have taken a
“Now is the time for the teaching of and research in the social sciences and the
humanities to take their place again at the leading edge of our struggle for
transformation and development of South African society. They must play a leading
role in helping our people understand and tackle the scourges of poverty,
unemployment, racism, discrimination of all kinds and HIV/AIDS,” Minister Nzimande
“At a deeper level, we also look to our social scientists, philosophers, historians,
artists and others to help us to rebuild our sense of nationhood, our independence
and our ability to take our place proudly in the community of nations. We should not
only be consumers of theory from the developed world. We should also become
more active producers of social theory and of art, helping assert our intellectual and
artistic independence while continuing to engage our colleagues from both the
developed countries and from the developing world, especially the former colonies,”
Minister Nzimande said the task team would provide guidance on a way forward to
strengthening social sciences and humanities and enhancing quality in this key sector
of higher education in the country.
Prof. Sitas said the decline in these areas of scholarship was palpable.
“All the professional associations and stakeholders in the broader humanities have
been voicing concerns through the Academy of Science of South Africa (Assaf) and
through their respective associations. Higher education bodies have been raising the
alarm both about the quality and quantity of our PhD endeavours”, Prof. Sitas said.
He said his team has instituted processes that will provide the Department of Higher
Education and Training with a charter of key interventions for the social sciences and
humanities by June 2011. As part of fact-finding, workshops and interviews will held
with local stakeholders (Assaf, Deans, Vice-Chancellors, Research Directors), and
scholarly encounter of leading academics in the global south will be invited to share
Issued by: Ministry of Higher Education and Training
Enquiries: Ranjeni Munusamy
Head of Communications
Ministry of Higher Education and Training
Tel: 012-3125555 (PTA)