article comment count is: 0

Prof Mamokgethi Phakeng appointed new VC of University of Cape Town

We continue celebrating the achievements of women this month. The recent appointment of Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng as the new Vice Chancellor of the University of Cape Town (UCT) in South Africa is surely a remarkable achievement worth celebrating. We wish her all the best in her new position.

Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng has been appointed as the new Vice Chancellor of the University of Cape Town (UCT) following a Council meeting. Prof Phakeng is currently the Deputy Vice Chancellor for research and internationalisation at UCT. Her appointment as VC will take effect as from 1 July, 2018.

According to a press release by the university, “What stood out about Professor Phakeng was her sound knowledge and understanding of the key challenges and opportunities arising from the changing higher education environment in South Africa and globally. She has a good appreciation of the possibilities that this situation presents for us. Her clear understandings of UCT as an African university, its developmental role, its commitment to deepen its links within the continent, internationalism, and pioneering, as well as the need to advance divergent critical knowledge systems make her a compelling choice as Vice-Chancellor.”

Read: International Women Day: An audit of the past year

Prof Phakeng will be the second black woman to be the VC at UCT. Mamphela Ramphele, the wife of South African anti-apartheid activist Steve Biko, was the first black woman VC at UCT and the first to hold that position at a South African university.

In response to the appointment, Prof Phakeng said:

“I am honoured to have been afforded an opportunity to lead one of the best institutions on the continent. I am particularly humbled by the overwhelming support that I have received within the university community. I know that the task that lies ahead is a mammoth one and I do not underestimate its complexities. In every challenge we face there are also opportunities. I also know that alongside all the members of the campus community, we will meet the challenges and reach even higher milestones as an institution.

“I will work tirelessly to enhance our cutting-edge research, which speaks directly to the challenges of our country, region, continent and the world. We will grow and develop talented academics, other staff and students from South Africa, elsewhere on the continent and internationally. I wish UCT to become a phenomenal international experience for our students, an experience that is profoundly embedded in academic excellence and that is uniquely African – an experience positively unforgettable. We will rethink curricula and make sure we broaden our pursuit of excellence in research, teaching and learning and in all our activities. There is a lot to do and I look forward to beginning this task.”

Read: Women dominate 2018 Brunel International African Poetry Prize shortlist

Prof Phakeng takes over from Dr Max Price as the Vice Chancellor.

Tell us what you think