Professor Zaheer Hamid
Durban - South African higher education specialist Professor Zaheer Hamid has been appointed to the Academic Council of Honoris United Universities, the first pan-African private higher education network covering several countries on the continent.

The Academic Council is intended to boost the sharing of academic best practices in Africa and globally, and develop a broad employability agenda designed around entrepreneurial and workplace skills and credentials.

Hamid, the academic director at Mancosa, one of the largest private higher education institutions in South Africa, that is affiliated to Honoris, has a special interest in teacher training and educational research as well as the internationalisation of higher education.

He said he would advocate for a change in mindset from “seeking jobs to training for jobs”.

“The Academic Council will lead the deployment of Honoris’s collaborative intelligence model through the co-ownership and sharing of skills and resources across member institutions.

“The Academic Council will also direct a diverse range of programmes including international exchanges, collaborative projects as well as learning environments to enable students to benefit from the sharing of ideas, real-world expertise, and multicultural immersion.

“The mandate of the Academic Council to develop cutting-edge learning infrastructures will manifest itself as the future iTeachLAB at Mancosa in South Africa,” said Hamid.

After completing a Bachelor of Education teaching degree at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Hamid pursued an MBA programme with the University of Bedfordshire and completed a PhD with the North West University’s Potchefstroom Business School.

Other members of the council are Dr Wafa Troudi Cherif, the dean of the Health Science School at Université Centrale in Tunisia; Dr Amine Bensaid, the president of Université Mundiapolis in Casablanca, Morocco; Dr Kais Mabrouk, the executive director of International Development at Université Centrale; and Dr Karim Alami, the deputy general manager of Ecole Marocaine des Sciences de * ’Ingénieur in Morocco.

Luis Lopez, the Honoris United Universities chief executive, said the council would focus on enabling students to be agile, mobile and competitive professionals, with superior 21stcentury workplace skills.

The Mercury