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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Schools Act @ 20 - Charting the way forward - 14 to 15 September 2016

Symposium chair: Prof. Elda de Waal
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Recent news

Invitation - Optentia Research Day: 8 September 2016

Optentia's research day takes place on the Vaal Triangle Campus of the North-West University on 8 September 2016 (14:00-18:00). The research day aims to introduce researchers, practitioners and anyone working with people and i...Read article

How to promote meaningful learning, well-being and flourishing

To optimise people's potential in the 21st Century it is vital to create new spaces for learning - physical, virtual, social and mental - that foster collaborative knowledge creation and make people flourish. Prof. Kirsti Lonk...Read article

Assisting co-researchers with career planning

The researchers involved in the “Experiences of Unemployment”-project are committed to keeping close contact and involvement with the individuals who were trained as co-interviewers and fieldworkers for the project. Th...Read article

Engaging with the community in Orange Farm: Itsoseng Women’s Project and Waste Management Center

Over a period of more than two years, a close relationship has been cultivated between the “Experiences of Unemployment”-project researchers and Mr Bricks Mokolo and Gladys Mokolo of the Isoseng women’s project i...Read article

Newsletter, June 2016

Upcoming events



Developing and evaluating social interventions
Presenter: Dr Franziska Meinck (Department of Social Policy and Inte...



Optentia Research Committee
09:00: PhD proposal - V. Marais-Opperman