Director: Institute for the Future of Knowledge

2 days left

Johannesburg (ZA)
18 Jun 2019
End of advertisement period
21 Jul 2019
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Director: Institute for the Future of Knowledge

Reference for Application: UNI_SS/19060001

Position: Director

Peromnes level: P5

Campus: Auckland Park Kingsway

Closing date: 21 July 2019


Artificial Intelligence has reached the point at which the self-learning, computational speed and capacity for the analysis of mega-data by complex machines has rivalled and, in some instances, already outperformed the human brain in a range of professions. The exponential rate of AI development indicates that many professional tasks currently undertaken by humans will partially or wholly be undertaken by AI in the medium term future.   

Secondly, it is likely that many human jobs, within 20-30 years, have not yet been imagined. The increasingly important role of technology does not necessarily imply that more human jobs with a technological focus will be required. Perhaps just the opposite will occur, as intelligent machines bridge the human-machine interface, and humans will require less ‘tech-savvy’ training and abilities.  What then, should universities train people for? Teaching and learning is already moving away from ‘content’ to ‘skills’. With the rise of search engines and mega-data analysis, what ‘skills’ will humans most require?

Finally, the emergence of online learning will result in an increase in learning choices, with regard to time, place and curriculum. Will degrees be replaced by accumulations of competencies from various sources, accredited electronically in the form of ‘micro-accreditations’ and assembled by individual choice? This could dissolve the ‘core curriculum’, and allow for innovative disciplinary combinations.

Rationale for the Institute

The impact of the fourth industrial revolution on higher education is likely to be extensive and ongoing. Higher Education institutions will constantly have to adapt to change, in order to retain their markets and to provide qualifications that are relevant and of high quality. Universities that are perpetually in reactive mode might battle to survive, as they will not lead in times of change. For UJ to establish itself as a leader in the changing arena of knowledge, the principal focus on the Institute will be on anticipating change, in the short term (the next 1-2 years), and in the medium term (the next 10-20 years). The competencies of the Director will include:

  • A sound knowledge of ‘Future Studies’, and the ability to retain a cutting-edge knowledge as this field grows and changes on an annual basis;
  • An understanding of the current role of universities, and the ability to calculate and anticipate changes in the role of the university;
  • Leadership in research into the future of knowledge, the curriculum and learning;
  • Leadership in creating strategies for the university to maximise its future orientation with regard to teaching, learning and curriculum design;
  • Dynamic, visionary, flexible and innovative intellectual capacity.

Minimum requirements:

  • A Doctoral qualification;
  • An understanding of global trends in Higher Education;
  • Networking and fund raising experience;
  • Ability to conduct research and communicate ideas
  • A  strategic understanding of the role of the Director

Term of appointment

The term of appointment of the Director will be five years.  The appointment will be made at the level of Professor or Associate Professor.


Prof R Ryan (Executive Director, Academic Development and Support,

Terms of appointment:

The above-mentioned positions will be offered a five-year contract appointment.

Retirement age:

The normal retirement age for members of the Executive Leadership Group is 65 years. Consideration will be given to all candidates who would able to serve for a 5-year term.

A detailed Curriculum Vitae, as well as the names and full contact details (including telephone numbers and e-mail addresses) of at least 3 traceable and credible referees, should accompany letters of application.

Applications should be marked “Confidential” and addressed to the Human Resources Division, University of Johannesburg, PO Box 524, Auckland Park 2006 or e-mail applications to
Ms. Busisiwe Dumezweni at e-mail:, quoting the reference UNI_SS/19060001 and title of position as the subject of the email.


Closing date: 21 July 2019

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