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.

Watch the Optentia video


Developing supports for the learning needs of all learners - 09 to 10 July 2018

More Information

Dealing with Unemployment in South Africa: Research and Intervention - 13 to 14 September 2018

More Information

Recent news

Double PhD pride for Leoni van der Vaart

Leoni van der Vaart is a dynamic 33-year old researcher who is blazing a trail of excellence – nationally and internationally – in the field of industrial psychology. Leoni received her PhD in industrial psychology dur...Read article

Qhubekela Phambili project brings hope to the unemployed

Prof Roland Blonk from Tilburg University in the Netherlands recently met with researchers from the Optentia research focus area on the North-West University’s (NWU’s) campus in Vanderbijlpark. Together with the NWU&rs...Read article

Spring news from the UK and the Netherlands

Prof. Jaco Hoffman is currently in the UK at the Oxford Institute of Population Ageing (OIPA), University of Oxford where he is a James Martin Senior Research Fellow. Since he arrived in the UK he participated in the  Read article

Constructive journalism build strong societies

Ask any news editor: good news does not sell newspapers. Prof Hans Henrik Knoop, extraordinary professor at the Optentia research focus area on the North-West University’s (NWU’s) campus in Vanderbijlpark, warns about ...Read article

Newsletter, March 2018

Upcoming events



Visit to Optentia: Prof. Marise Born



BaSSREC (Ethics) Meeting
Applications submitted: 10 May 2018 - 12:00



Meeting: Research Committee
09:00 - Master's proposal: D. Jacobs



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

View all