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Charles Sheppard
Director of Management Information at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University and consultant to the Deputy Director General, DHET

Charles Sheppard started his career as a Mathematics and Science Teacher, and then did research as Director: Education and Training Databases at the HSRC, before becoming Director: Physical Planning at the former Department of Education. He is also a consultant to the Department of Higher Education and Training as well as CHET. He is currently serving on the Committee for the Review of the Funding of Universities. His expertise and experience include large scale data surveys, data analyses, database management, education planning, higher education funding, physical planning and education indicator frameworks.

Murray Leibbrandt
Professor in the School of Economics and the Director of the Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit (SALDRU)

Murray Leibbrandt is a professor in the School of Economics at the University of Cape Town and the Director of the Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit. He holds the DSD/NRF National Research Chair of Poverty and Inequality Research and is an IZA Research Fellow. His research focusses on South African poverty‚ inequality and labour market dynamics using survey data and‚ in particular‚ panel data. He is currently one of the Principal Investigators on the National Income Dynamics Study. He is a past president of the African Econometric Society and immediate past president of the Economic Society of South Africa.

Nico Cloete
Director, CHET

Nico Cloete is the Director of the Centre for Higher Education Trust (CHET) and Coordinator of the Higher Education Research and Advocacy Network in Africa (HERANA). He is also a Guest Professor at the University of Oslo, an Extraordinary Professor at the Institute for Post-School Studies at the University of the Western Cape, and Extraordinary Professor in the DST-NRF Centre of Excellence in Scientometrics and Science, Technology and Innovation Policy at Stellenbosch University. He was the General Secretary of the Union of South African Democratic Staff Associations (UDUSA) and the Research Director of the Nelson Mandela appointed National Commission on Higher Education (NCHE) in South Africa. He has published in psychology, sociology and higher education policy. His latest books are Universities and Economic Development in Africa (2011), Shaping the Future of South Africa’s Youth: Rethinking Post School Education (2012), Knowledge Production and Contradictory Functions in African Higher Education (2015) and Doctoral Education in South Africa (2015). He is also a Lead Author on the International Panel on Social Progress.

Rolf Stumpf
Private consultant

Dr Stumpf was previously vice-chancellor and CEO of the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in Port Elizabeth, vice-rector at the University of Stellenbosch and the President and CEO of the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC). Before that he was Deputy Director-General of the Department of National Education.


Dr Stumpf served, amongst others as executive officer of the Universities and Technikons Advisory Council (AUT), the SA Council on Education, and the Scientific Advisory Council, chair of the Committee of Heads of Science Councils and a commissioner in the National Commission on Higher Education (NCHE). He also served as a member of the Board of the Research and Technology Foresight Study of the Department of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology and was a member of the Council on Higher Education.


He is a member of the Higher Education Quality Committee's Board and its Exco, and was a member of Higher Education South Africa's Exco and chair of its finance and audit committees. He has recently been appointed to Unisa's Council and is also a member of the Academy of Science of South Africa.
Dr Stumpf is the author of a number of scientific articles in the field of statistics (qualitative data analysis) and co-author of a book on graphical exploratory data analysis. He also authored and co-authored a large number of policy reports in the field of education, especially in higher education. He has read numerous papers on higher education policy both nationally and internationally.