The University of Pretoria located in South Africa’s capital city is regarded as one of the greatest centers for higher academic development across Africa.
The prestigious citadel of learning boasts of a rich heritage and its alumni are scattered across different nations of the world.
The University prides itself as one of Africa’s oldest university with over 100 years of existence.
History was made in the South African University recently after it unveiled renowned and celebrated Zimbabwean professor, Tawana Kupe as its first ever black vice-chancellor.
Apart from the fact that the University appointed its first black vice-chancellor and principal, it also made history for appointing someone who isn’t South African.
Professor Tawana Kupe will take over Cheryl de la Rey – the former vice-chancellor of University of Pretoria resigned to take up the role as vice-chancellor of the University of Canterbury in New Zealand.
According to a report released by the university, the appointment was made after a long assessment and Professor Kupe was selected from six shortlisted candidates.
“The appointment was made in terms of the procedure set out in the University’s Regulation and Procedure for the Appointment of the Vice-Chancellor and Principal.
“The process included, among other steps, presentations by the shortlisted candidates to a joint meeting of the Council, Senate and Institutional Forum, voting by the Senate and Institutional Forum on the suitability for appointment of the shortlisted candidates, and interviews with the six shortlisted candidates by the Joint Committee of Council.” It said.
Before his appointment as vice-chancellor of University of Pretoria, Professor Tawana Kupe was the vice-president at the University of Witwatersrand, where he oversaw the daily running of the university. In the past, he was a dean at Rhodes University, which he joined after working at the University of Zimbabwe.
In his acceptance speech, Professor Kupe called for academic freedom, institutional autonomy and transparency in their practices while highlighted the importance of universities in developing professionals.
“Universities have a responsibility to develop educated, well-informed and professionally skilled people who can address local and global challenges and contribute towards creating successful and thriving societies,” he said.