Phil Baty is a leading international authority on university performance and strategy, with more than 22 years of experience in global higher education, including a decade as editor of the prestigious Times Higher Education World University Rankings and its derivative analyses. He is an award-winning journalist, a sought-after speaker and commentator, and the creator of the THE World Academic Summits.
Previously, Professor Cotton was principal of the College of Medicine and Health Sciences at the University of Rwanda. Prior to that, he was professor of learning and teaching at the University of Glasgow Medical School, his alma mater, a post he retains. He also worked as a general practitioner in Glasgow for many years. He is a fellow of the Royal College of General Practitioners and board member of several development charities working in Africa.
Since joining Times Higher Education in January 2015, Nick Davis has worked closely with higher education institutions in the UK and internationally, helping to develop their long-term recruitment advertising strategies.
Abel Idowu Olayinka is vice-chancellor of the University of Ibadan and a member of council, Association of Commonwealth Universities. Other appointments have included chairman and, later, foundation president of the West African Research and Innovation Management Association from 2006 to 2015. He holds a BSc in geology from the University of Ibadan, an MSc in geophysics from Imperial College London and a PhD from the University of Birmingham.
Nico Jooste is director of the newly established African Centre for Higher Education Internationalisation, which assists South African and African Higher Education Institutions to develop internationalisation strategies. He was the founding director of the Nelson Mandela University from 2001 to 2018, involved in the rethinking of international higher education, including arranging the global dialogue on the future of higher education internationalisation in South Africa in 2014. He also served as the president of the International Education Association of South Africa from 2014-16.
Before joining the University of Pretoria in January 2019, Professor Kupe was vice-principal of the University of the Witwatersrand. He also served as deputy vice-chancellor for advancement, human resources and transformation, and between 2013 and 2014, he was deputy vice-chancellor for finance and operations. From 2007 to 2012, he was executive dean of the Wits Faculty of Humanities, after serving as head of Wits School of Literature and Language Studies, and founding head of the media studies department. He completed his tertiary studies in Zimbabwe and Norway.
Professor Marwala took on the role of vice-chancellor on 1 January 2018. Previously he was deputy vice-chancellor for research and internationalisation, and dean of engineering at Johannesburg, and held several senior academic positions at the University of the Witwatersrand, including the SARChI Chair of Systems Engineering. He has studied in South Africa, the UK and the US, and is a fellow of the World Academy of Sciences and African Academy of Sciences.
Stafford Masie is a computer scientist with 25 years’ experience in the IT industry. He has been closely involved in Telkom, Dimension Data, Novell and was responsible for establishing Google’s presence in South Africa. After leaving Google in 2010, he founded several fintech businesses and technology startups – including Payment Pebble® – and continues today as an inventor and mentor for early-stage technology start-ups, including Gattaca, an artificial intelligence platform, and Snaptutor, a platform for social education interaction. He has recently joined the board of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research.
Professor of the Faculty of Education and Senior Director of Postgraduate School
University of Johannesburg
Before her current role commenced in 2016, Professor Motala was director of the UJ Postgraduate Research Centre for six years, and prior to that, a director of the Education Policy Unit at the University of the Witwatersrand (1999-2010). Other leadership roles have included chair of Unesco South Africa and inaugural president of the South African Education Research Association. In 2010, she was appointed to serve on the Council on Higher Education and, in 2013, to serve on the Ministerial Task Team to review the National Senior Certificate examination.
Executive director of research and innovation support
University of Johannesburg
After graduating with a PhD in microbiology and immunology from Temple University in Philadelphia in the early 1990s, Dr Nonkwelo furthered her research training as a postdoctoral fellow at the St Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis. Prior to her current role at the University of Johannesburg, she has served as director of research and innovation at the University of Pretoria and has held management positions at the South African Medical Research Council and Innovation Fund (now part of the Technology Innovation Agency). She is also a member of the advisory board of the National Intellectual Property Management Office in South Africa.
As the current regional director for Africa, Will Sánchez has worked with top-ranked institutions in data-led projects, as well as global brand visibility campaigns to improve institutional reputation. His wide experience in the global higher education sector includes working with universities in emerging economies from Africa, Asia and Latin America.
Deputy vice-chancellor (research and internationalisation)
University of Johannesburg
Professor Sinha joined the University of Johannesburg in 2013 as executive dean of the Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment and took on his current role in 2017. Previous positions included director of the Carl and Emily Fuchs Institute for Microelectronics at the University of Pretoria. In 2018, the South African cabinet appointed him a member of the South African National Research Foundation board and, later, chair of the NRF research and development committee. In 2014-15, he was the first African to be elected vice-president (educational activities) of the IEEE.
Linguist Dr Thwala has more than 20 years’ experience in education in South Africa, Swaziland, the US and the UK. He has a highly developed understanding of academic conditions locally and internationally, and aims to empower people with the language skills they need for personal, academic or professional development. He served as the lead language consultant and researcher at gold mining company Gold Fields in its New Way of Communication project, which seeks to phase out the use of Fanagalo in the workplace and replace it with Zulu and Sotho.
Nelson Torto was the founding chief executive officer of the Botswana Institute for Technology Research and Innovation before he joined the AAS in 2017. Other roles have included professor in analytical chemistry and head of the chemistry department at Rhodes University and associate professor at the University of Botswana. He served as founding secretary-general for the African Network of Analytical Chemists and is the recipient of various international awards including the American Chemical Society’s Young Investigators in Separation Science Award. A fellow of several academies, he is also a panel member of Research Councils UK.
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