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

Cultivating humanity: interdisciplinary research for a better tomorrow

Poverty, unemployment, poor service delivery, lack of economic growth. There are a lot to be done before we will see the African continent truly thriving. The need for interdisciplinary research has never been greater. The Optenti...Read article

Job insecurity project in higher education institutions keeps momentum

In September 2018, Prof. Haijiang Wang, Dr Eva Selenko, Prof. Despoina Xanthopoulou, Jasmina Tomas, Dr Lara C. Roll, Prof. Jurgita Lazauskaite-Zabielske and Dr Ieva Urbanaviciute had the chance to get together at the EAH...Read article

Caring connections enable resilience

“My teacher loves me.” “My social worker is like my mother, she cares.” “My neighbour cares for me; he doesn’t want me to go hungry.”

These quotes illustrate that caring connect...Read article

Having grit goes a long way

It is the year 2000. The share price of a multi-billion dollar Fortune 500 company peaks at $90. Their recruitment strategy reads: Hire the best, fire the rest. At the time it seemed to work, only it didn’t. That company was...Read article

Newsletter, July 2018

Recent publications

September 2018

Pathways to flourishing: Internal strategies of pharmacy students.

International Journal of Pharmacy Practice

September 2018

School principal support, and teachers’ work engagement and intention to leave: The role of psychological need satisfaction

In M. Coetzee, I.L. Potgieter, & N. Ferreira (Eds.), Psychology of retention: Theory, research and practice

Upcoming events



Capabilities, systems and the precariat
Time: 09:00-13:00 - Facilitator - Prof. A. Baart (Optentia Programm...