Dr Magret Olarewaju spoke about her winning the Women Researcher of the Year Award along with the Faculty Researcher of the Year (Gold) category for the Faculty of Accounting and Informatics at the recent Research Awards 2020.
“I feel so elated and motivated to do more. Winning such accolades encourages me and affirms to the fact that hard work pays. It serves as a driving force to surpass my performance in terms of output in the coming years,” she said.
Dr Olarewaju is a Chartered Accountant, Business Accountant, Associate Chartered Management Accountant, Global chartered management Accountant, a Senior Lecturer, an accomplished author, an inspirational speaker and Acting Head of Department (Management Accounting) at the Durban University of Technology (DUT).
As an accomplished researcher with several Journal articles and book chapters published in the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) accredited peer-reviewed journals to her credit, she has convened many research workshops, facilitated many financial trainings and mentored many postgraduate students to completion. She is engaged in community engagement under the project “YOU ARE SO PRETTY”. She is an editorial board member of many journals and reviewer to many and accredited Journals. She is also an external academic promotion assessor and post-graduate examiner for universities in South Africa.
She explained why academics needed to be part of such awards, saying that such an award recognises excellence and an attempt to motivate every staff to put in their best in all they do.
“Academics should be involved in such a prestigious award to inspire collaborations, drive research outputs and appreciate efforts in the delivery of their duties and responsibilities. It is important to emphasise the fact that the faculty actually provided the platform for winning such an award through the support of the dedicated team. It is a reflection of the right team spirit and exceptional workforce in the faculty,” stressed Dr Olarewaju.
She further relayed some of the highlights of her distinguished work at her faculty. She indicated that she has been involved in extensive research activities and postgraduate supervision since she joined the faculty.
“One of the outstanding and remarkable achievement is the supervision of a postgraduate student who completed a masters’ degree in six months with seven publications (4 published and 3 under review). It is noteworthy that one of the research work was published in SJR Q1 rated journal. Also, I feel fulfilled as a researcher to mentor students to become scholars such that they have several articles from their research work and have presented papers in local and international conferences. In addition, I have been involved in several collaborations with staff members which have yielded research outputs,” she said.
Discussing the rating, Dr Olarewaju explained what it means for her academically and for her faculty to have a good research rating.
“Rating is a measure of performance in terms of research output. You are rated based on your research output and impact. To be engaged in self-appraisal, I check research gate regularly, monitor my H-index, i10, scopus and web of science citation track to ensure that my research work exceeds local environment and competes globally. For the faculty as a whole, publications in quality journals by academics will enhance outstanding rating. A faculty with good research rating will attract intelligent students and formidable collaboration with other universities. A good research rating facilitates funding from both private organisations and the government. It serves as a basis for new discoveries and ideas which will aid effective teaching in the university,” she said.
She said that ratings are a vital component for academics.
“A child that is not appraised in school will remain stagnant and redundant. Rating affords the researcher an opportunity to appraise his/her work over time. It serves as a means of measuring your output and the quality of your research work. Discoveries from research output mostly determine your rating. Hence, your rating has a relationship with your new discoveries and ideas,” she said.
Dr Olarewaju also gave some highlights of the impactful, scholarly outputs she has from the institution. Since she joined the Durban University of Technology in 2018, she has published more than 20 articles in accredited journals and has attended and presented at several conferences in Canada, United States of America, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, Malaysia, Indonesia and Nigeria.
“I have obtained local and international laurels in research outputs and some of these include Faculty Top Researcher of the year (Platinum category), Faculty of Accounting and Informatics, Durban University of Technology in 2019. Best Presenter at the second International Conference on Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Toronto, Canada, 2019. Best full paper presented at Southern African Accounting Association (SAAA), KwaZulu-Natal Regional Teaching and Learning Conference, Riverside Hotel, in 2018,” she said.
On Envision 2030, Dr Olarewaju reflects on how her academic work in her faculty enhance or speak to the strategy.
“ENVISION2030 centers on enhancing stewardship (living values, institutional culture, creativity), system and process (innovative curricular, ensuring digital environment), sustainability (distinctive education, financial sustainability) and society (engage university, innovation and adaptive graduates). I have been strongly involved in research which addressed the Sustainability. I have been actively involved in innovative teaching which speaks to sustainability and society in terms of adaptive graduate that are future professionals and managers. I have been in the forefront of curriculum development of new and existing programmes which enhances system and process. Lastly, I am deeply involved in community engagement project which centers on stewardship and society. In a nutshell, all my academic activities strongly enhance the strategy,” she said.
Dr Olarewaju’s shares what is forthcoming from her department this year.
“We commenced the year on a very bright note with research activities in spite of the pandemic in the department. I have published five journal articles in the first quarter of the year, five articles under review, three book chapters and several others in progress. In addition, I am currently editing an interdisciplinary book titled: Climate Change and the sustainable financial Sector. This book has received over 30 full chapters globally and will be published before the end of the year. It is pertinent to mention that there are other staff members in the department who are actively involved in research and have published in accredited journals. Undoubtedly, we are looking forward to a glorious ending of 2021. Research is an interesting activity that requires a lot of commitment. Simply put, if I can, you can,” she said.
Pictured: Dr Magret Olarewaju