ASSAf News

The Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) has extended its congratulations to the Minister of Higher Education and Training, Naledi Pandor, who graduated with a PhD in Education from the University of Pretoria on 16 April 2019.

.Her research topic was ‘The contested meaning of transformation in higher education in post- apartheid South Africa’.

The Minister holds a Master’s in education policy and practice in multi-racial societies, and another in linguistics from the applied linguistics perspective. She chose education “because it is the discipline I have always had an interest in understanding further. I am a teacher by early training and am fascinated by education. I learnt that there is a vast amount of absolutely fascinating education information that we need to tap into much more than we do today. I also learnt how to use research material and to carry out a very demanding academic schedule.”

Minister Pandor has already received acclaim from international examiners with Professor Fazal Rizvi from the University of Melbourne, Australia, calling it “a most insightful thesis” providing a nuanced understanding of South African higher education and theoretical issues.

A firm advocate of continuous learning, Minister Pandor encouraged all to pursue our dreams and learn as much as we can.

ASSAf President, Prof Jonathan Jansen, has hailed the Minister saying “with this tremendous achievement of the doctorate the Minister sets a powerful example of what is possible in terms of learning and leadership for all our youth. Nor can there be a better example of a role model for South Africans dedicated to learning.” 

Prof Himla Soodyall, ASSAf Executive Officer, says Minister Pandor sets an excellent example for young scientists, demonstrating that it is never too late to pursue knowledge and higher learning.


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