In November 2015, the Next Generation Professoriate (NGP) cohort had its first lunch at the UCT Club, looking out across the Green Mile and towards the Drakenstein mountains. It was a celebratory occasion, at which the cohort was introduced to Nceba Lolwane, the newly appointed administrator of the programme. One cohort member was also celebrating their birthday that day.
Nceba previously worked with the Centre for Extra-Mural Studies in the Centre for Higher Education and Development (CHED), and has close connections with UCT – his brother, the much loved Advice, used to work at ICTS. He hails from the North West, attending a Tswana-Xhosa-speaking primary school in that hot part of the world before moving to an English medium secondary school, Danville, in Mafikeng. As a result, he is fluent in six languages.
In between school and UCT, he walked the boards as a choral member in Beethoven's opera, Fidelio.
Nceba says that he is very happy to be 'welcomed into the clan'. He believes that the path to knowledge is through the stomach, and looks forward to meeting those cohort members who were unable to attend the November event.
During the lunch, Dr Manya Mooya announced that his magnum opus, long in the making, had been accepted by Springer. There was a round of appreciative applause.
Talk turned to the road-running calendar, which is getting into its summer stride. Five of the cohort realised that they were brothers of the road: Freedom Gumedze, Anwar Jardine, Frank Matose, Robert Morrell and Lebogang Ramma were all looking forward to participating in upcoming races. The sisters of the road were not able to make the lunch but there is enough potential and interest for the cohort to be considering entering a team at one of the relays in the new year.
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The Next Generation Professoriate (NGP) is a mid-career academic staff development and support programme. Funded by the vice-chancellor’s Strategic Funds, the NGP addresses demographic inequalities in the academic hierarchy. The goal is to help members become associate and full professors.
The NGP was officially launched in September 2015. By the end of 2018, four of its members had been promoted to full professor and a further 14 had reached the rank of associate professor.
The programme is led by Dr Robert Morrell, who has over 35 years of academic experience in South African universities. He has a B1-rating from the the National Research Foundation (NRF) and is an elected member of the Academy of Sciences in South Africa.