A new Chancellor and Vice-Chancellor for the Durban University of Technology
27 August 2007
Tomorrow, 28 August 2007, the Minister of Education, Naledi Pandor MP, will attend the inauguration of Ms Ela Gandhi and Professor Roy du Pre as Chancellor and Vice-Chancellor respectively of the Durban University of Technology.
Professor Du Pre was formerly Deputy Vice Chancellor of the Vaal University of Technology. Ms Ela Gandhi has a background in social work and a history of involvement in the anti-apartheid struggle.
The Minister will say: "The inauguration of a new Chancellor and Vice Chancellor, coupled with a new council, affords the university a unique opportunity for a new beginning."
Addressing Ms Ela Gandhi, the granddaughter of Mahatma Gandhi, the Minister will say:
"Your inauguration as Chancellor is a reminder of where we come from as a country. Your inauguration is a signal that we need to infuse new principles and values into our higher education system, principles and values which include the need to be focused on our responsibility for public accountability and nation building."
Addressing Professor Du Pre, the Minister will say:
"Professor Roy du Pré brings to the Durban University of Technology a wide range of experiences and skills, gained from his time at the University of the Transkei, the Committee of Technikon Principals (CTP) and Vaal University of Technology. His knowledge and experience puts him in good stead to lead this institution into the future."
Universities of technology occupy a special position within the higher education sector.
The Minister will say:
"Durban University's primary goal is to train graduates with high-level skills, ready to enter the labour market, particularly in the fields of science, engineering and technology, and business and management."
"This is the greatest challenge that the Durban University of Technology faces under your leadership – to make your graduates employable, to provide them with the skills and training they need to work in fulfilling jobs as soon as they leave this institution. The employment conjuncture could not be more favourable than it is now."
1. The Durban Institute of Technology, now re-named the Durban University of Technology, was established on 1 April 2002 through the voluntary merger of ML Sultan Technikon and Natal Technikon. It was the first merger in the higher education system.
2. From the outset, the merger has been characterized by numerous problems and challenges, due mainly to serious leadership and management shortfalls and tensions between management and council.
3. In response to these governance and management challenges, the Minister of Education appointed Professor Chabani Manganyi as the Assessor on 20 May 2006. Professor Manganyi recommended the appointment of an Administrator for a period of one year.
4. Professor Jonathan Jansen was appointed Administrator for Durban University of Technology on 12 August 2006 with the primary task of restoring proper governance and management. This involved implementing the appropriate recommendations of the forensic audit of the university initiated by the previous council of the university, appointing a Vice-Chancellor, as well as the appointment of a full team of senior executive managers and ensuring that the university has a legally constituted council.
5. The new council is led by Professor Jairam Reddy (former Vice Chancellor of UDW) and Ms Gugu Moloi (former CEO of Umgeni Water).
6. Durban University has a student body of 22,800, of whom the majority are undergraduates. Eight in ten are busy with diplomas, one in two are science and technology majors, and one in three is in a business and management programme.
7. An amount of R 80 million has been allocated by the Minister of Education to the Durban University of Technology over three years to enhance its production of science, engineering and technology graduates and improve general graduate output.
Issued by the Ministry of Education
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