Evolving student leadership

21 August 2006

Leaders meet: Vice-Chancellor and Principal Prof Njabulo S Ndebele shared centre stage with SRC president Andiswa Magadla at a co-hosted seminar on student leadership.

The SRC, in partnership with the Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Professor Njabulo S Ndebele, hosted an open lunchtime seminar last Monday to celebrate 100 years of student governance at UCT, as well as 30 years of youth leadership since the fateful June 1976 march.

The theme of the seminar was Youth in Leadership: 30 Years On. One of the aims was to bring students together to reflect on the status and challenges facing student leaders today - and their contribution to UCT and society in general.

At the seminar Professor Ndebele reflected on the issues of the past, comparing the challenges youth dealt with 30 years ago to those facing today's generation.

Highlighting the history of the SRC after its formation in 1906, Ndebele said the most significant change in student leadership was to be found in the cooperative, participative nature of the relationship between the vice chancellor's office and the students. Today, they participated in the decisions taken by the institution, he said.

He urged students to "use your choices to bring upon positive change towards our university".

"Our students should leave UCT not only as masters in their disciplines, but they should also be able to engage meaningfully with the world," Professor Ndebele said.

SRC president Andiswa Magadla spoke about the importance of the SRC today, confirming its vital role in student governance and its links to the vice-chancellor.

"Student governance is necessary. We have differences, but they can be reconciled. We are willing. We are moving forward."

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