South Africa has a long history of excellence in astronomy, a sound high-tech infrastructure and clear skies. Researchers from around the region have joined forces to create a cooperative, combined graduate programme, hosted at the University of Cape Town where South African students and students from around Africa and the rest of the World can study under the guidance of some of South Africa's leading scientists. Two degree programmes are on offer:
Lectures will be given by staff in the NASSP consortium and will cover most areas of modern Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology. In addition to lecture courses, students will be expected to take a substantial practical component which will involve several field trips to some of southern Africa's space science research facilities. These include the South African Astronomical Observatory site at Sutherland where the Southern African Large Telescope (SALT, the largest optical telescope in the southern hemisphere) is located; the radio telescope facility at Hartebeesthoek and the High Energy Stereoscopic System (HESS).
Students graduating from this programme will be both equipped to do research at the cutting edge of Astrophysics and have the broad science skills needed in any modern technological society. Here are some quotes from people trained in astronomy who are now working in industry and commerce.