The mission of the Optentia Research Focus Area is to develop and organise knowledge for the optimal expression of individual, social and institutional potential, with specific interest in the African context. The research programme utilises the inputs from various disciplines in the social sciences, including Psychology, Industrial/Organisational Psychology, Human Resource Management, Educational Psychology, Sociology, Educational Sciences, Employment Relations, and Social Work.

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Recent news

Reflections on research with unemployed South African people

Three students, Melinda du Toit, Leoni van der Vaart and Rachele Paver who have been working on a joint PhD between the North-West University and KU Leuven recently reflected on their research about unemployment in South Afri...Read article

Selected Highlights: Optentia 2017

Although 2017 was a challenging year, the research focus area performed well. Moreover, the entity created multiple learning opportunities for students, researchers and community members. At the end of 2017, we experience gratitud...Read article

Job Insecurity workshop at Optentia

A group of dedicated researchers and practitioners gathered on 1 December 2017 for a workshop on job insecurity. The workshop which was partially funded by the National Research Foundation focused on the antecedents and outcomes o...Read article

NWU and Go Purple Foundation empowers community to prevent child abuse

The festive season is here, and while many of us look forward to going on leave or at least a quieter time at the office, many occupations are facing the busiest time of the year - especially social workers and members of the SAPS...Read article

Newsletter, December 2017

Recent publications

December 2017

Pathways to flourishing: Internal strategies of pharmacy students.

International Journal of Pharmacy Practice

Upcoming events



Science Sandwich Meeting
12:00-13:00 - Contact Lynn Booysen or Marinda Malan to confirm your ...



SLP in Research Design
Please contact Marinda Malan to book your place.