Masimanyane Women's Rights International congratulates Mamokgethi Phakeng on her appointment as the new vice-chancellor of the University of Cape Town (UCT).
Professor Phakeng, who currently serves as deputy vice-chancellor for research and internationalisation, is only the second female black vice-chancellor of UCT since its establishment in 1829. She will take up her new appointment on 1 July, 2018, taking over from Dr Max Price, who has held the position since 2008.
She is a highly regarded B2 NRF-rated scientist with over 80 research papers and five edited volumes published. She has been invited to deliver over 30 keynote/plenary talks at international conferences, and as a visiting professor in universities around the world (in Australia, Botswana, Canada, Denmark, Finland, India, Italy, Jamaica, Kenya, Lebanon, Lesotho, Mexico, Mozambique, Namibia, New Zealand, Pakistan, Senegal, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, UK and USA).
Prof Phakeng has won numerous awards for her research and community work, including the Order of the Baobab (Silver) conferred on her by the President of South Africa in April 2016. In August 2014 CEO magazine named her the most influential woman academic in Africa and in August 2016 she was awarded the prestigious Businesswoman of the Year Award in the education category.
In 2008 she became the first South African black researcher to be appointed to co-chair a study commissioned by the International Commission on Mathematical Instruction. The study entitled “mathematics and language diversity” has just completed its work and published an edited volume.
She is trustee of the FirstRand Foundation and a member of the Board of the CSIR as well as DALRO. She served as President of Convocation of Wits University for five years (from 2011 – 2016), national president of the Association for Mathematics Education of South Africa (AMESA) from 2002 to 2006, founding chairperson of the Board of the South African Mathematics Foundation (SAMF) from 2004 to 2006 and secretary and member of the executive committee of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education (PME) from 2003 to 2007.
She is also the founder of the Adopt-a-learner Foundation (www.adopt-a-learner.com), a non-profit organisation that started in 2004 and provides financial and educational support to students from township and rural areas to acquire higher education qualifications.