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Donovan Neale-May
Chairman of the Board of Trustees

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Rhodes University News

Daily Maverick
Plea from the vice-chancellor – the future of Rhodes University is under serious threat

Just under four years ago, in 2020, Makhanda (formerly Grahamstown) commemorated the second millennium of its blood-soaked history of heroic struggles in the nascent years of the Constitution of South Africa as we know it today. More

Rhodes University News

Rhodes University
Apr 25, 2022

Rhodes University Council has elected the Executive Director at the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls (OWLAG), Ms Gugu Ndebele, its new deputy chairperson.

Ms Ndebele succeeds Reverend Canon Dr Vicentia Kgabe, who became the first woman deputy chairperson of Rhodes University Council in 2020. Dr Kgabe was, in 2021, elected the Bishop for the Diocese of Lesotho. More

Rhodes University News

Rhodes University
Lord Peter Hain’s Honorary Degree Acceptance
Apr 20, 2022

Watch Lord Peter Hain's honorary degree acceptance video.

Pictured here with Rhodes University alumnus Professor Steve Olivier, the Vice-Chancellor at Robert Gordon University in Scotland, and Geoffrey de Jager, Rhodes University UK Trust Chairman. Prof Olivier was explicitly selected by Rhodes University Vice-Chancellor Professor Sizwe Mabizela for the role of capping Lord Hain.

More on this historical moment can be read here: https://www.ru.ac.za/latestnews/

Rhodes University News

How Rhodes University is Uplifting Civic + Socio-Economic Conditions in its South African Rural Setting

The “Princeton of higher learning in South Africa” is on a mission to innovate a new “active agent” community outreach and partnering model that is raising the bar on how enlightened universities apply their resources and talents to the betterment and well-being of disadvantaged local constituents and municipalities in developing countries.

A critical mandate for Rhodes, one of Africa’s elite research institutions with over 8,000 students (many post-graduate), is the upgrading of vital public service delivery to long-suffering, hometown residents in Grahamstown (recently renamed Makhanda). Among the needs are reliable power, clean water, road repair, better healthcare, wider education, improved fiscal administration, economic development, crime prevention, housing, digital skills development, transparent civic governance, and job creation.

By collaborating with community stakeholders and mobilizing students, faculty, alumni, donors, and the private sector, Rhodes is seeking to address and overcome the problems of this challenged and bankrupted municipality. While considered a base of academic excellence with many of South Africa’s foremost private schools, this town of 70,000 in the hinterland of the Eastern Province has a large, disadvantaged population and one of the worst cases of mismanagement, poverty, unemployment, educational failure, economic stagnation and public service delivery in the country.

What makes Rhodes University stand out?

  • Enlighted leadership, philosophy and enduring 117-year-old heritage of academic excellence in preparing students for lifetime achievement and success (some of the highest past rates in South Africa)
  • Graduates that are domain experts and artists in exemplary roles and inspirational positions throughout the world
  • Foundational role in community growth, development, and societal cooperation initiatives -- Pathways to enhance the capacity of disadvantaged schools, and Makhanda Circle of Unity civic groups and key stakeholders
  • Commitment and funding to bring enterprising students from troubled townships to academic scholarships
  • Community programs that reach beyond the “ivory tower” to reduce the turmoil, toil and despair of tin shanty living
  • Application of world class intellect, research and science to addressing basic human and community needs
Resources that are being mobilized and applied include:
  • Institute of Social and Economic Research
  • Institute for Water Research and Water-Lab
  • Unilever Centre for Environmental Water Quality
  • Center for Higher Education Research, Teaching and Learning
  • Alan Gray Center for Leadership Ethics
  • Public Service Accountability Monitor
  • Various university departments (education, business school, computer science, etc.)
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