CLE1.1-00-1 Facilitators

Professor Ahmed Bawa, USAf

Prof. Bawa is a theoretical physicist. He holds a Ph.D. in Theoretical Physics from the University of Durham,  UK. He has published in the areas of high energy physics, nuclear physics, higher education studies, science education and to some extent in the area of science and society.

He currently holds the position of Chief Executive Officer of Universities South Africa (USAf). Until the end of April 2016, he was Vice-Chancellor and Principal of Durban University of Technology. Until August 2010 he was a faculty member at Hunter College in the City University of New York where he was a member of Department of Physics and Astronomy. He was also a member of the doctoral faculty at the Graduate Centre, also of the City University of New York. During this period, he was also Associate Provost for Curriculum Development at Hunter College. He had previously, for about nine years, held the position of Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Natal and then at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.

He has served as the Programme Officer for Higher Education in Africa with the Ford Foundation and during this time led and coordinated the Foundation’s African Higher Education Initiative. During this time, he worked closely with the Association of African Universities, the Council for the Development of Social Research in Africa and so on.

He served on several policy development teams in the post-1994 period and was an inaugural member of the National Advisory Council on Innovation till 2002. He is Fellow of the Royal Society of South Africa as well as the Academy of Science of South Africa of which he was one of the inaugural vice-presidents. He also served as Chair of the Board of the Foundation for Research Development and later served on the Board of the National Research Foundation and was Vice-Chair of the board of the Atomic Energy Corporation. He serves on several international advisory boards.

Dr Whitfield Green, DHET

Dr Green is Chief-Director, Teaching, Learning and Research Development in the South African Department of Higher Education and Training, and leads the work of the Department in respect of:

  • Supporting the development of a university-based teacher education system that is able to produce sufficient numbers of high-quality teachers for all education sub-sectors, including pre-schooling, schooling and post-schooling.
  • Developing, implementing and monitoring policy and programmes to support capacity development at universities for advancing student success, staff development and programme/ curriculum development, including through management and oversight of the Department’s University Capacity Development Programme.
  • Development of a coordinated system for the management of international postgraduate scholarship partnerships.

Dr Green holds a Bachelor of Science, Higher Diploma in Education, Bachelor of Education Honours, Master of Education, all from the University of Natal/KwaZulu-Natal, and a PhD from the University of Stellenbosch. He was formerly a school teacher, teacher training college lecturer and university academic.

Dr. Thandi Lewin, DHET

Dr Lewin works in the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) as the Chief Director for Institutional Governance and Management Support in the University Education branch. Her responsibilities include student funding policy, oversight of NSFAS, university governance oversight, and student development and support matters, amongst other areas. Previously she coordinated the development of a National Plan for Post-School Education and Training. Prior to that she worked for JET Education Services, where she was responsible for Monitoring and Evaluation; and the Department of Education, as a Chief Director for Equity in Education and later for University Policy. She has also worked in the non-profit, university, and philanthropic sectors. Her work has been broadly in the field of higher education policy and education and social justice. She holds a Bachelor of Social Science degree from the University of Cape Town, a Master’s in Education and International Development from University College London Institute of Education, and a PhD from the University of the Free State.

Professor Lis Lange, UCT

Prof. Lange joined the University of Cape Town (UCT) from the University of the Free State (UFS), where she has held the same position. Before that she headed UFS’s Institutional and Academic Planning and Research Department from 2011 to 2014. She was an executive director for the Higher Education Quality Committee in the Council on Higher Education (CHE) from 2006 to 2010 and was acting CEO of the CHE from 2007 to 2008. During her service in the CHE, she secured funding for research projects on higher education from the following international funders: Fulbright, Nuffic, Carnegie Corporation and Ford Foundation.

Prof. Lange was born in Argentina and is a permanent resident in South Africa. She earned a BA(Hons) in History from the University of Buenos Aires in 1984, an MA in African Studies from El Colegio de Mexico in 1988, and a PhD in History from the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) in 1998.

Prof. Lange’s research interests focus on the philosophy and politics of education. She has done research on change in higher education as well as on the meanings and possibilities of the notion of transformation, especially at curricular level. Her current work is on higher education curriculum and pedagogy in the context of the call for decolonisation of the curriculum.

She has participated on a number of national task teams of higher education, including:

  • University Fees, Council on Higher Education, 2016
  • Transfer of the Colleges of Agriculture from the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries to the Department of Higher Education and Training, 2016
  • Funding of Higher Education, Department of Higher Education and Training, 2012
  • Consensus Group on the Humanities, South African Academy of Science, 2009–2010
  • Quality of Academic Journals, South African Academy of Sciences, 2006–2008

Prof. Lange is the author of White, Poor and Angry: White working class families in Johannesburg (Ashgate, UK, 2003) and co-editor with Leonhard Praeg of #MustFall: Understanding the moment (UKZN University Press, forthcoming 2018).

Dr Derek Swemmer

Derek K Swemmer (DLitt et Phil) taught English at Christ’s Hospital, England for 1 year then lectured English at UP and Unisa.  At Wits he was the special advisor to the VC, Deputy Registrar (Research) and Deputy Registrar (Academic) during his first 9 years, then served 16 years as its Registrar, and 4 years as Registrar at UFS.  He has wide experience in governance, management, leadership, training and strategic planning at both public and private universities, NGOs, schools and public and private boards of directors and councils, in RSA, Africa and internationally.  He has served as an advisor, facilitator, trainer and consultant in myriad HE capacities including 10 years on Boards of Directors in the US. 

He has served on several HE advisory panels and task groups, including twice in DHE Independent Assessors’ panels and twice in Institutional Audit panels.  He has, in 2020, been contracted by the CHE to serve as a panelist for the CHE Institutional Doctoral Degrees Reviews.  In 2013, he contributed a significant section to the DHET tome Governance, Academic and Administrative Guidelines for the Establishment of a New University.  He was used to help induct the Interim Councils for the new Sol Plaatje University and the University of Mpumalanga, and subsequently the first substantive Council of the latter. Over the years he has made short study visits to some 120 universities, in many of the 56 countries he has visited, gaining therefrom international insights about HE governance and management..

He served as CEO of the FEDSAS Institute of School Governance (2015-2020) being a key author for FEDSAS in 2 editions of its joint publication with the IoDSA entitled Governance in Public Schools – A guide to the application of the King Principles in Public Schools, (2016, 2019.) He is the editor or co-author and co-editor of over 20 books and training manuals, including The New Wordpower: the South African Handbook of Grammar, Style and Usage, (1989 reprinted 20 times until 2016). He has extensive experience in drafting HE policies, rule books, statutes and in reviewing contracts. He has run over 200 strategic planning, governance, leadership and cultural sensitivity events.  He has spoken at over 110 public events in RSA and internationally. 

In 1997 he drafted the constitution and helped found IEASA, serving as Honorary Treasurer until 2010.  In 2014, he facilitated the Global Dialogue on the Future Internationalization of Higher Education for 45 participants exercising national, regional and global responsibilities.  He was cardinal in creating the Registrars Imbizo, twice serving as chairperson. He was a volunteer in the Scout Association for 45 years including 6 years on its Executive Committee, as the National Commissioner for Adult Training.