The Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings 2020 revealed that just 39 of the top 200 institutions are led by women – and the University of Cape Town (UCT) is among them. This is an increase from 2018 when only 34 universities had women at the helm.
Unusually for higher education institutions around the world, UCT has an all-women executive academic leadership. During 2019, Professor Sue Harrison was appointed the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (DVC) for Research and Internationalisation, joining Vice-Chancellor Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng, Associate Professor Lis Lange (DVC for Teaching and Learning) and Professor Loretta Feris (DVC for Transformation).
“While UCT did not set out deliberately to appoint women, we are proud of the experience and expertise they have brought to the executive, and it marks a significant moment for women in academia and executive management – in South Africa, Africa and around the world,” said Phakeng. “And I am delighted to be part of it.”
The University of Oxford is at the top of this world rankings, and is led by political scientist, Louise Richardson. In the United States (US), three of the Ivy League institutions – University of Pennsylvania, Cornell University and Brown University – are also led by women.
The US, Sweden, Netherlands and the United Kingdom are some of the countries with high numbers of female-led institutions.
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