Economics Lecturer Graduates with PhD
The difficulties Dr Malibongwe Nyathi experienced trying to get a supervisor for his master’s degree motivated him to pursue doctoral studies to launch his career as an economics lecturer…and possibly a student supervisor!
‘When I registered for my masters, I struggled to get a supervisor because students coming from a business science background are not perceived to be able to do research as they work mainly with numbers. I wanted to debunk that notion,’ said Nyathi.
His PhD study titled: Towards Coordination of Macroprudential and Monetary Policies in South Africa, explored the interactions and possibility of Macroprudential and Monetary Policy co-ordination in South Africa. The findings of the study, supervised by Dr Christian Tipoy and Professor Paul-Francois Muzindutsi, contribute to macroeconomic policy co-ordination in South Africa and address current concerns with regards to macro-financial linkages.
‘The study proposed a modified version of the South African financial cycle, which could be used as a supervisory and a monitoring tool for financial stability,’ said Nyathi. ‘The study further proposed a new method of studying macro-financial linkages in South Africa. To challenge a presiding policy that has been there for years is one of the hardest things to do. Hence, I came across several challenges trying to convince people of my way of thinking, which they seem not to appreciate. Conducting this study took effort, persistence, strength and undying hope to stay on track and to remain focused,’ he said.
As an executive member of UKZN’s Macroeconomics Research Unit (MRU), Nyathi has published several working papers on financial stability issues, monetary economics theory and practice and international trade theory. As well as contributing to the Unit’s collaboration with the Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry and eThekwini Municipality for development of the Durban Business Confidence Index. Nyathi was also part of a research group trying to develop a framework that will enable the quantification of the economic impact of coastal and marine tourism in South Africa.
‘Having a PhD opens doors you couldn’t with any other qualification,’ he said.
‘It trains you to be an independent researcher and to master your area of specialisation. Most importantly it gives you the confidence to be able to share experiences and knowledge about your specific area of research, which is beneficial to other people who might have the same interests. You gain popularity and collaboration opportunities and work with the best in the field. It actually grows you in every aspect of life.’
Words: Thandiwe Jumo
Photograph: Abhi Indrarajan