Tag Archive for: University of Cape Town

University of Cape Town (UCT) Vice-Chancellor Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng has been named among the Times Higher Education’s (THE) 10 People of the Year.

Professor Phakeng is among the 10 people “who mattered in higher education in 2020”, named by THE on Thursday, 17 December. The list comprises “the academics and administrators who have shaped the debate in the past 12 months”.

According to THE: “There is no doubt that higher education will need strong, transformational leadership as the world recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, and few people embody this more than Phakeng. Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cape Town since 2018, she continued to speak out powerfully against inequality in South Africa and in academia globally over the past year.”

“If universities are to transform into more equal institutions, they will need leaders like Professor Phakeng who are not afraid to speak uncomfortable truths and hold the sector to account.”

Speaking at this year’s THE World Academic Summit, Phakeng said that universities needed to show more “reflection and humility” around their own “complicity” in perpetuating racism and sexism, and called for the creation of more diverse leadership teams and an end to the exploitation of researchers from the Global South.

“If universities are to transform into more equal institutions, they will need leaders like Professor Phakeng who are not afraid to speak uncomfortable truths and hold the sector to account,” wrote THE.

Phakeng is the only African named on the list. The others are:

  • Patrisse Cullors (academic at Otis College of Art and Design, and Prescott College)
  • Professor Sarah Gilbert (scientist at the University of Oxford)
  • Professor Christian Drosten (head of the Institute of Virology at Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin)
  • Professor Zhang Yongzhen (researcher at the Fudan University-affiliated Shanghai Public Health Clinical Center)
  • Dr Jill Biden (long-time college teacher in the US)
  • Professor Thomas Maschmeyer (chemist at University of Sydney)
  • Professor Neil Ferguson (mathematical epidemiologist at Imperial College London)
  • Dr Lauren Gardner (co-director at the Center for Systems Science and Engineering, Johns Hopkins University)
  • Dr Clare Wenham (assistant professor of global health policy at the London School of Economics).

 

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email info@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], [2].

When Abimbola Windapo graduated from the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University) in 1987, she was the first woman to study building in Nigeria.
Now, with her promotion to full professorship at the University of Cape Town (UCT), the academic and builder is also the first Nigerian woman professor of construction management, and the first in South Africa.

Beginning her career as a planning engineer for Bouygues Nigeria Ltd, Windapo worked on numerous high-profile projects, completed a Master’s in Construction Management at the University of Lagos, and qualified for the Council of Registered Builders of Nigeria.

In 1996 she left Bouygues and joined Lagos State Polytechnic, then the University of Lagos in 1998 where she finished her PhD in Building in 2005. During that time, she continued providing professional building services for the University of Lagos and was made Fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Building in 2007.

Two years later, Windapo joined UCT while continuing to research and practice as a construction professional. She is credited with leading research on how small and medium-sized contractors can grow sustainably, a field she developed in response to high failure rates of construction companies in the South African industry.

“Before my research in this area, there was no previous recipe for sustainable contractor development, while the practices used by construction companies in ensuring health and safety were not established in the literature,” she said.

She has also been praised as an administrator in higher education for chairing the Faculty of Engineering & the Built Environment’s Transformation Committee from 2015 to 2017, a period of student protests across UCT campuses.

Windapo has said she was drawn to construction by a desire to help solve social problems such as unaffordable housing, overcrowding, inadequate infrastructure and service delivery and poor living environments.

“All human beings should have access to comfortable accommodation in a conducive environment,” she said.

 

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email info@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], [2].