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Wednesday, 13 September 2017

CPUT installs new Chancellor

DIGNIFIED: From left Registrar Nikile Ntsababa, Nogolide Nojozi the Chair of Council, Thandi Modise newly installed Chancellor with Dr Blade Nzimande the Minister of Higher Education and Dr Chris Nhlapo, Acting Vice-Chancellor DIGNIFIED: From left Registrar Nikile Ntsababa, Nogolide Nojozi the Chair of Council, Thandi Modise newly installed Chancellor with Dr Blade Nzimande the Minister of Higher Education and Dr Chris Nhlapo, Acting Vice-Chancellor Robin Thuynsma: Pixel Place

The Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) welcomed its new Chancellor, Thandi Modise, in a ceremony attended by Minister of Higher Education Dr Blade Nzimande.

Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces, Modise succeeds former Finance Minister Trevor Manuel as Chancellor, and in doing so becomes the first woman, and only the second person to ascend to this office at CPUT.

Modise said she felt honoured to lead the largest tertiary institution in the Western Cape. Referring to the difficulties all tertiary institutions have been facing since 2015, she says, “Although it is a challenge I have always welcomed getting into difficult spaces, if only to prove that women are capable. It is also an awesome task because with the economy slowing down some of the issue bedevilling CPUT – issues of high salaries and properly catering to students are going to take longer to address because the fiscus is strained.

“Even though the job of a Chancellor is very ceremonial, I am taking up the challenge to engage and try to mediate between the students and management. For me this is important because the only way forward is if there is stability. The challenges we are facing with a university like this one, which must push innovation, is that you must produce and produce fast to mitigate the risks. I will be taking up the challenge and am very, very honoured.”

Acting Vice-Chancellor Dr Chris Nhlapo in his welcome address spoke of Modise’s proven track record as a competent and capable leader, “I look forward to the ways you will assist us in creating futures and making this university into a world-class institution.”

Minister Nzimande says the institution was gaining a highly principled Chancellor.

 “One of the most important things precisely during these challenging times in the higher education sector, generally, and at CPUT, specifically, is that we need more government leadership to work together with student and worker leadership. It becomes therefore very important that she joins the higher education community at this point because we need her wisdom and dedication. She’s a very principled person and we need those like her to act as examples,” he says.

Written by Abigail Calata