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Meet our new VC


We start 2018 by welcoming the new Nelson Mandela University Vice-Chancellor Prof Sibongile Muthwa. Prof Muthwa takes over the reins from Prof Derrick Swartz, who has served the institution for two successive terms since 2007.

Prof Muthwa, served as the University’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Institutional Support for the past seven years and is the institution’s first black African female Vice-Chancellor.  She brings to the post a wealth of experience from the public sector and academia, both nationally and internationally.

Speaking of her appointment, Prof Muthwa said she was extremely humbled by the confidence shown in her by the University Council and looks forward to leading the institution that is set to distinguish itself nationally and continentally as a new generation university.

“I’ve spent 30 years dedicated to public service, so this is one of the crowning moments of my career,” she said.

Prof Muthwa reminded students at the First-year Welcoming ceremony of their history-making feat by choosing the only university in the world to bear the iconic former president’s name.

 It was particularly apt that these students take up their place during the centenary year of the birth of our namesake, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela.

More than 6000  first year students, selected from a pool of more than 57 000 applicants, join the University across the seven faculties in 2018.

Prof Muthwa also paid homage to her predecessor Prof Derrick Swartz for the outstanding legacy he has left after a decade-long tenure. “I wish to recognise, and thank my predecessor Prof Derrick Swartz, assisted by his team, for his exemplary leadership and for leaving the University with a strong foundation on which we now have to build and grow,” she said.

The #FeesMustFall campaign foregrounded a number of challenges within the higher education sector, chief of which were funding issues that impacted on universities’ financial sustainability and the call to transform not only the student and staff population but the curriculum as well.

These are some of the main areas that Nelson Mandela University has been focused on, towards ensuring financial sustainability and developing a curriculum that is relevant to the growth and development needs of South Africa and Africa as a whole.

Prof Muthwa also made reference to the University’s strapline Change the World, which is derived from one of Nelson Mandela’s most famous quotes that “Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world”.

“As a University we are committed to changing the world,” she said.


Telephone: +27(0)41 504 3935 | Fax: +27(0)41 504 2574 / 1417 | E-mail: alumni@mandela.ac.za

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