The nGAP 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. It is envisaged to be the biggest programme within the SSAUF.


nGAP is in the process of being implemented with the advertisement for the first intake of 125 posts placed in the Mail and Guardian newspaper on Friday 29th May 2015 and in the Sunday Times newspaper on Sunday 31st May 2015. Universities have also advertised individually in the media of their choice and in their websites.

The most important features of the programme are that successful applicants are appointed into permanent posts firmly factored into long-term staffing plans right from the outset, and appointments are governed by contracts which clearly spell out the expectations, obligations, roles and responsibilities of the employing university and of the newly appointed academic.

It is intended that the scheme will be recurrent, and successive cohorts of nGAP appointees will be taken on at intervals that are determined by fund availability.

The number of posts that will be made available, and the intervals between successive cohorts, will be determined by the ability of the DHET to source funding for successive cohorts.

The nGAP covers a six year period for each cohort taken onto the programme, covering a 3-year development programme plus 3 years induction thereafter.

The nGAP is structured as follows:

• a Development Programme of 3 years duration (with the possibility of the programme being tailored to meet the needs of individuals);

• three years induction after successful completion of the Development Programme; and

• continuing permanent employment at the appointing institution thereafter.

The nGAP is summarised in the table below.


Government will carry the full cost of the post for the first 3 years, with cost-sharing mechanisms between government and the appointing university from the fourth year of the programme.

Institutions are required to bear the full employment costs for the post after 6 years. This required institutions to develop long-term staffing plans, taking into account equity, enrolment and strategic size and shape plans (including growth), anticipated retirements of staff, and the usual attrition rates over and above retirements. Institutions showed convincing evidence of this planning provision before they were awarded nGAP posts.

Posts approved for support at all the universities were used to create a composite nGAP academics vacancy list for the cycle, which has been advertised nationally (Mail and Guardian newspaper on 29th May 2015 and in the Sunday Times newspaper on 31st May 2015). At institutional level, the posts are being advertised through various platforms, including electronic and print-based media, in order to solicit applications. The advertisement clearly indicates that the posts are institution-based and are permanent posts....CLICK TO VIEW ADVERTISEMENT

Applicants are encouraged and able to apply for as many posts as they wish.

A set of criteria that includes equity goals, academic merit, and institutional and national priorities linked to the transformational agenda of the SSAUF, as well as other imperatives, will guide selection of nGAP academics.

Selection for nGAP posts will take place at university level and will happen through the regular university selection process conducted by the institution, with a DHET representative with observer status participating in the recruitment process.

Performance contracts will be put in place between the appointed nGAP academic and the university that will clearly stipulate obligations, expectations, roles and responsibilities.

Contracts will set out the need to participate successfully in the SSAU Development Programme. The contract will set out such matters as the numbers of core courses and electives, the teaching load and the name and duties of the mentor. The contract will also spell out expectations in relation to registration for a PhD. Should the nGAP academic already have a doctoral degree, a higher teaching load could be negotiated - however, participation in the SSAU Development Programme remains required. It should be noted that nGAP appointees may register to study at an institution of their choosing: it does not have to be the institution to which they are appointed as staff members.

nGAP academics will undertake a reduced teaching load (maximum of 20% load against departmental norms), with a spread of responsibilities and levels (in other words, the teaching experience should not be restricted to first year level).

All nGAP academics will be assigned a mentor for the duration of their participation in the programme. The mentor's role includes keeping close track of agreed developmental milestones and plans. Mentors are envisaged to be experienced and successful academics: if necessary, recently retired academics may be contracted as mentors. The duties of mentors will include providing: assistance with the preparation of a personal plan for professional development; assistance with such matters as personal problems, time management, and financial management; and opportunities for reflective discussions on teaching and research experiences, opportunities and challenges.

Universities are expected to provide an annual report to the DHET on the progress of nGAP academics at the end of each year of the six year cycle.

Should an nGAP academic choose, on successful completion of the programme, to leave his/her home university and work at another South African university, the new university employer would need to repay reasonable SSAU-DP costs to the state. Should an nGAP academic choose, on successful completion of the programme or during the course of the programme, not to pursue an academic career, s/he or her/his employer would need to repay reasonable SSAU-DP costs to the state. If the nGAP academic drops out of the programme, s/he would need to repay costs on a pro rata basis. These conditions will be built into employment contracts.