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Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng up to the task of leading UCT


Newly-appointed Vice-Chancellor of UCT, Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng, is set to take the reins at one of South Africa's premier academic institutions.

And she's up to the task.

Commenting on her appointment, Prof Phakeng said while the task ahead was "mammoth", she was ready and eager to accept the challenge.

“I do not underestimate the complexities ... (But) in every challenge we face there are also opportunities. I know that alongside all the members of the campus community, we will meet the challenges and reach even higher milestones as an institution.”

Prof Phakeng, who previously served as deputy vice-chancellor for research and internationalisation at UCT, was appointed after a competitive recruitment process that included public presentations to stakeholders by the shortlisted candidates.

UCT's Chair of Council Sipho Pityana said what had stood out was Phakeng's sound knowledge of the key challenges and opportunities arising from the changing higher education environment both locally and globally.

Prof Phakeng takes over from Dr Max Price, who has held the position since 2008.

"I congratulate Professor Phakeng on this exciting personal and professional achievement," he said. "The role of Vice-Chancellor at UCT is an extremely demanding one, but I have no doubt that Professor Phakeng has qualities that will stand her in good stead as she takes on this significant challenge.”

Prof Phakeng will assume her new new position on 1 July.

“I am honoured to have been afforded an opportunity to lead one of the best institutions on the continent. I am particularly humbled by the overwhelming support that I have received within the university community," she said.

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