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Dr Michael Cosser
Developmental, Capable and Ethical State (DCES)

Dr Michael Cosser is a chief research specialist in the Developmental, Capable & Ethical State research division. He holds two Honours degrees (English, and Applied Linguistics), an MA in English and a PhD in Education from the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) (2015). He specialises in constitutional development, education (particularly higher education), and literary stylistics.

Experience and special projects: He was formerly Head of the Learning & Development unit at the HSRC (2013-2016) and a chief research specialist in the Education & Skills Development research programme in the same organisation, a position which he held from November 2000 until 31 December 2012. He was project leader of the HSRC leg of a consortium project on Teacher Education in South Africa (2005 to 2008) and of the FET college audit, which audited all 50 FET colleges on-site ahead of their incorporation into the Department of Higher Education & Training (2010).

Before joining the HSRC, Dr Cosser was Head of the Standards Setting division at the South African Qualifications Authority, in which capacity he guided the formative deliberations of all 12 National Standards Bodies (1998-2000), and before that he was a Lecturer in the Academic Staff Development Centre at Wits (1993-1997), a Junior Lecturer in the Department of English at Wits (1998-1992), and a high school teacher of English (1983-1985).

Most of his research at the HSRC has focused on student pathways from school into higher education (the subject of his PhD) and the labour market.

Publications: Dr Cosser has published 15 scientific articles in both local and international peer-reviewed academic journals, 6 monographs, 13 book chapters, and numerous research reports. He co-edited a book entitled Making the Road by Walking: The Evolution of the South African Constitution, which was published by the Pretoria University Law Press in 2018. He has also presented 20 papers at local and international conferences.