People and networks
Dr Saleem Badat is the former Vice-Chancellor of Rhodes University, South Africa, a position he held from 2006 to 2014. In 1999 Saleem became the first CEO of the Council on Higher Education which advises the South African Minister of Education on higher education policy issues, and is also responsible for quality assurance. Currently, Dr Badat is the Chairperson of the Association of African Universities Scientific Committee on Higher Education Research; serves on the executive committee of Higher Education South Africa (HESA); is the Chairperson of HESA's Funding Strategy Group; serves on the Development Bank of Southern Africa's education think-tank; and is a trustee of the Harold Wolpe Memorial Trust. Dr Badat is the recipient of numerous academic awards and prizes, including the Hubert Humphrey Fellowship, the Association of Commonwealth Universities scholarship and British Council scholarships. He has also been awarded honorary doctorates by the universities of Free State and York. He is the author of Black Student Politics, Higher Education and Apartheid (Routledge, 2002), co-author of National Policy and a Regional Response in South African Higher Education (James Currey, 2004) and co-editor of Apartheid Education and Popular Struggles in South Africa (Ravan Press, 1990). He has contributed chapters and articles to various books, scholarly journals, magazines and newspapers, and has directed and authored numerous policy reports on South African higher education and science policy. He holds the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Sociology from the University of York (UK).
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.
Prof. Brian O'Connel is the former Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the University of the Western Cape, a position he held for13 years. Before being appointed Rector of UWC, Brian O’Connell was Head of the Western Cape Education Department, from 1995 to October 2001. He obtained a B.A. Honours Degree in History from UNISA (with distinction), and MA and MEd Degrees from Columbia University in New York.
Prof. Goolam Mohamedbhai is the former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Mauritius (1995-2005), former President of the International Association of Universities (2004-2008) and former Secretary General of the Association of African Universities (2008-2010). He did his undergraduate and postgraduate studies in civil engineering at the University of Manchester, UK before joining the University of Mauritius as an academic, and was a Fulbright postdoctoral scholar at the University of California, Berkeley. Prof. Mohamedbhai has served on a number of national boards or councils, and he was also a director of the State Bank of Mauritius (2003-2006). At the regional/international level, Prof. Mohamedbhai has been a member or chairman of several UNESCO committees on higher education for Africa. He was also chairman of the Association of Commonwealth Universities (2003-2004), the University of the Indian Ocean (1998-2005) and the Regional Scientific Committee for Africa of the UNESCO Forum on Higher Education, Research and Knowledge (2005-2008). He is currently a member of the governing Council of the United Nations University. In 2004, he received the distinguished award of Grand Officer of the Star and Key of the Indian Ocean (GOSK) from the President of Mauritius for his contribution to higher education and in 2009 he received the Symons Award 2009 from the Association of Commonwealth Universities for outstanding contribution to the ACU and to Commonwealth universities.
A Burundi national, Prof. Juma Shabani represents UNESCO in four countries, namely Botswana, Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe in addition to the Secretariat of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Secretariat. Until 2002, he was the senior specialist in higher education in Africa at the UNESCO Regional Office for Education in Africa, based in Dakar, Senegal. Prior to this appointment, he was a senior specialist in higher education in Eastern and Southern Africa at the UNESCO Regional Office for Science and Technology in Africa, based in Nairobi, Kenya; deputy secretary-general of the Association of African Universities (AAU) at the AAU secretariat based in Accra, Ghana, for four years and vice rector (vice president) of the University of Burundi for five years. He is currently vice president of the African Academy of Sciences, Co-ordinator of the Virtual Institute for Higher Education in Africa, member of the International Advisory Board of Suffolk University in Boston and Member of the Executive Committee of the Global University Network for Innovations with secretariat in Barcelona, Spain. He studied in mathematics and physics at the State University of Kharkov (Ukraine) and the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium. He has been visiting professor/researcher at the University of Bielefeld (Germany), the International Centre for Theoretical Physics (Italy) and Sussex University (UK). He speaks and writes fluently in Kiswahili, Kirundi, English, French and Russian. He has published over 80 publications in mathematical physics and higher education.
Lidia Brito was the first Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology of Mozambique (2000–2005) and Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Eduardo Mondlane University (1998-2000). She has extensive diverse experience working with local, national, and international organizations mainly in technical expertise and political support in good governance issues, energy, higher education, science and technology, ICT and their impact on social development. She has served as member of many boards, such as the UNESCO-IHE Governing Board, UNESCO-NEPAD High-Level Group; United Nations University Council, the Advisory Board of the Community Development Carbon Fund and the Steering Committee for the programme on Sustainable Management of Forests in Africa. Dr Brito obtained her forestry degree at Eduardo Mondlane and her PhD in Forest Sciences from Colorado State University.