Welcoming Remarks by the Chair of Council at the Inauguration of the First Vice-Chancellor of the University of Mpumalanga 30 May 2015
Deputy Minister for Higher Education and Training, Hon Mr Mduduzi Manana, MEC for Education, Hon Mrs Reginah Mhaule, Minister: State Security, Hon Mr David Mahlobo, Deputy Chief Whip, Hon Doris Dlakude, Traditional Leaders, Executive Mayors, Members of Parliament, Members of Council, Vice-Chancellors, Deputy Vice-Chancellors, Mayekiso Family, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, Good afternoon, Sanibonani.
We are singularly honoured that you are able to join us this afternoon at this auspicious occasion in the history of our university.
You are all important guests today and are heartily welcome to this celebration on the occasion of the inauguration of the first Vice-Chancellor of the University of Mpumalanga, Prof Thoko Mayekiso. Indeed many of you who are assembled here today are about to witness the fruits of your own efforts as in this, we are responding to the yearnings of the people of the Province of Mpumalanga. We are bringing the dream that imagined a different future for the people of the province and beyond.
The ceremony marks the formal inauguration of the University’s first leader, who will lead the institution into ground breaking paths and become a centre of academic excellence.
The University has enrolled 828 students in five programmes in 2015 and there are advanced plans to introduce six new qualifications in 2016. This is indeed a very pleasing development. Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, today’s universities face multiple challenges and are under tremendous pressure to transform rapidly in order to adapt to the needs of humanity in the 21st century.
We, therefore present Prof Thoko Mayekiso, as the candidate of our choice, to steer this fledgling university in the desired direction. She is one of three female Vice-Chancellor out of 26 universities in South Africa.
We are pleased to have a scholar who has gone through the ranks of the academy and who also enjoys the respect and confidence of her peers. She brings a wealth of experience that is not only gained from working in this country, but also in institutions abroad. This will enable her to bring a global understanding and context to shape our local experiences. This is very important because the very concept of a university is embedded in the notion of universality. After all we are part of the global village.