The University of Cape Town’s (UCT) “force of nature” and winner of the 2018 Vice-Chancellor’s Award Sarina Mpharalala is the university’s student delegate for the upcoming Worldwide Universities Network (WUN) conference, a prestigious event that brings together higher education institutions from around the world for a week of discussion and debate.
The five-day conference and annual general meeting (AGM), which kicks off in Dublin, Ireland on Sunday, 19 May, comprises a general programme and a slightly shorter student programme.
UCT is the only South African university represented at the event, but is part of a three-strong African contingent along with the University of Ghana and the University of Nairobi. UCT has been part of the WUN since 2009.
This year, for the first time in the WUN’s 19-year existence, participating universities are permitted to include a student representative in their delegation, to join discussions on the student programme.
“That makes me feel so blessed,” Mpharalala said.
“I am ready to shake things up. I am truly grateful for this opportunity.”
“I often say I don’t want to be noticed, but remembered, and I am about to make that mark at the WUN 2019. I am ready to shake things up. I am truly grateful for this opportunity.”
The WUN conference draws together colleagues from member universities around the world to promote research and collaboration, facilitate policy discussions and hold business meetings in a bid to further enhance its network.
Mpharalala said she will be one of several panellists presenting on the topic of inclusive community building, social connectedness and cross-cultural differences.
She is looking forward to representing UCT’s 28 000 students at the international symposium, she added. Sharing insights and ideas with like-minded individuals on topics that relate to some of the world’s most pressing challenges is both an honour and a privilege.
“I hope to make a valuable contribution to the innovative solutions of some of the world’s significant challenges and to return with insight as to how all of that can be applied here at home.”
The commerce student said she also plans to use the conference as a networking opportunity and hopes to return to South Africa with a deeper understanding of research conducted by participating institutions, as well as the global higher education sector.
“I am extremely excited. It really feels great to be granted this honour [to stand] tall for the best university in Africa,” Mpharalala said.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Please view the republishing articles page for more information.