International honour for VC and other updates

08 September 2022

Dear students

University of Cape Town (UCT) Vice-Chancellor Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng received yet another international honour when she was awarded the inaugural Africa Education Medal this week. Read more on this and other updates below.

1. Another international honour for our VC

UCT Vice-Chancellor Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng has been awarded the inaugural Africa Education Medal, awarded by T4 Education to “an outstanding individual who has demonstrated impact, leadership, and advocacy in the field of education”.

A field of 10 finalists, from countries and organisations across Africa, was assessed by an international panel of judges against the criteria of advocacy, impact and leadership in furthering the goals of education on our continent.

The award of the first Africa Education Model to our Vice-Chancellor again recognises the impact of her work and leadership on the international stage. It follows on from her election to lead the International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU) from 2023 to 2025, her being awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Ottawa and her being Bristol University’s first Illustrious Visiting Professor.

2. Congratulations to our NRF award winners

Every year the National Research Foundation (NRF) celebrates South African research at its annual awards ceremony. Nominated by their peers and research institutions, awardees are recognised in a variety of categories.

Six UCT researchers were awarded in three categories. UCT’s established researchers also shone at this year’s NRF awards with some improving their ratings to an A and others retaining their A ratings. This brought UCT’s researchers who held active A ratings in 2022 to 31, the highest of any university in South Africa.

It is recognition like this that demonstrates that UCT’s researchers and research support community are key in securing and retaining the university’s top position in South Africa and on the continent.

3. Next steps in the CHE institutional audit process

The Council on Higher Education (CHE) Institutional Audit of UCT was recently successfully concluded. The university leadership thanks all staff and students who participated in interview sessions; all departments that guided the panel around UCT’s campuses and facilities; and both the Institutional Audit Steering Committee and the Institutional Planning Department for ensuring that the site visit ran smoothly.

UCT awaits the CHE’s report with findings and recommendations on how to improve the university’s internal quality management system and how quality is assured. Once received, UCT will engage with these recommendations through an improvement plan that will be submitted to the CHE. The university will also be required to provide periodic reports on progress based on the improvement plan.

The audit panel’s report will be made available to the university community on the Institutional Planning Department’s website when finalised.

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