UCT Vice-Chancellor Mamokgethi Phakeng off to Bristol as Visiting Professor
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Pretoria - UCT Vice-Chancellor and Ga-Rankuwa-born Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng will be joining the University of Bristol as South Africa’s first Bristol Illustrious Visiting Professor.
Phakeng will be joining the university for a year-long course to engage the England-based institution’s academic community in various ways, and will also participate in a series of public lectures that will be recorded and shared online.
Due to the global pandemic, most of this visiting professorship will take place virtually; however, the university said it was looking forward to welcoming Phakeng to Bristol, England, as soon as it was safe and practical to do so.
According to Professor Hugh Brady, Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Bristol, Phakeng was elected to become the first visiting professor in recognition of her exceptional and inspirational work in maths education and university leadership in post-apartheid South Africa.
The university said it hoped to work together with Phakeng to build on and enhance their research endeavours in maths education in particular, as well as to develop the institutional partnership with the UCT more broadly.
“She has established herself as an inspirational figure in maths education and university leadership in South Africa. I have already had the great pleasure of working closely with Phakeng on our important Bristol-UCT Strategic Partnership and as a member of the Worldwide Universities Network.
“It will be exciting to have our entire community benefit from Mamokgethi’s expertise, energy and vision over the year ahead.”
For her part, Phokeng said being appointed was a great honour, not only for her on a personal level, but also for African scholarship.
“It is an opportunity to share the work that I have done in multilingual mathematics classrooms in South Africa on a much wider scale. I believe this appointment will also strengthen the relationship between two great institutions of higher learning, as UCT is the highest-ranked university in Africa and the University of Bristol is ranked among the world’s top 60 institutions of research and higher education.
“The landscape of education around the world, and more specifically the landscape of leadership in higher education, has changed a great deal in recent years, and will change even more in the near future. I hope this new relationship will offer opportunities for me to share with my colleagues in Bristol from my own leadership journey. And I am excited to learn from them in turn,” she added.