Statement on the African SKA Bursary Conference

H Line

On the 21 - 25 November 2011 the University of Stellenbosch will be hosting the SKA Bursaries Conference. A significant component of the African Square Kilometre Array Telescope (SKA) bid is the human capital development. Twenty-five Million Rand is spent annually in postgraduate bursaries to develop the next generation of scientists in order to prepare for our continued advance in astronomy, especially radio astronomy. This funding is allocated via the SKA project. Since 2005, a total number of 311 research grants have been awarded to students from 28 countries Of these, twenty-four students have graduated with PhDs.

The African SKA Bursaries Conference was first held in 2006 where students and researchers could meet and discuss their work and develop both local and international research programmes. This year`s conference will be attended by 6 visiting distinguished scientists, 4 of the 5 professors from the astronomy-related South African Research Chairs programme, 11 researchers from our 8 African SKA Partner Countries, 19 from South African National Facilities, 22 supervisors, 17 post-doctoral fellows, 20 PhD students, 33 MSc students and 11 undergraduate students.

We salute this wonderful endeavour and wish the young scientists of the African SKA bid continued success.