The University of Pretoria (UP) has appointed Kuseni Dlamini chairperson of the University Council, with effect from April 1.
The 30-member council of the 113-year-old university is responsible for governance, policymaking and monitoring. That includes setting down guidelines relating to strategic and financial governance and disciplinary matters; fostering a positive academic atmosphere; and formulating the university’s admission and language policies.
It focuses on three core activities – teaching, research and community engagement – and in doing so, furthers the pursuit of establishing UP as the premier university in South Africa, the university states.
“This appointment comes at a crucial time where businesses, institutions and nations are facing economic headwinds exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic. South Africa is also dealing with the pressing demands in higher education institutions across the country, relating to funding, student debt, infrastructure and safety of students in campuses.
"As the council, we are committed to working with all relevant stakeholders to collectively make headway in finding lasting solutions to some of these issues. South Africa needs financially strong and resilient world-class institutions of higher learning that contribute meaningfully to the economy and society at large, through socially impactful research, producing graduates that will focus on issues that move South Africa and the world forward,” says Dlamini.
He acknowledges that, while funding is a critical issue to be addressed, universities “also have to do what we can to ensure that students have the necessary infrastructure and enabling platforms needed to support their learning”.