The University of Cape Town has recently installed its sixth chancellor, Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe. She has since expressed the issues she aims to tackle at the university and across the continent.
On 10 December 2021, Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe was officially installed as the University of Cape Town’s (UCT) sixth Chancellor since 1918. The job of the chancellor is to be the titular head and representative of the university and grants degrees in its name.
Moloi-Motsepe has been the chancellor since 1 January 2020, however her installation and investiture were delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic.
She is the second woman in UCT’s history to hold the position as chancellor and the UCT Chair of Council Babalwa Ngonyama said that Moloi-Motsepe was “the right leader to help steer UCT as an African university committed to the continent, its people and its development”.
Moloi-Motsepe spoke to SABC News regarding the issues she plans on committing herself to at the university.
She says that she plans on tackling issues surrounding youth unemployment and the lack of students pursuing their tertiary studies due to a lack of funds such as those who are part of the missing middle.
She plans to work in partnership with chancellors at the various universities around South Africa to find solutions to these issues.
Moloi-Motsepe is committed to using her time to open up more opportunities for young people in the country as well as the rest of the continent.
She says that it is important that all students, including those coming from poorer communities, are able to access higher education institutions. She also says that focus must be placed on teaching students about technology and the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR).
According to her, this knowledge of 4IR will enable students to become more employable after university and will allow them to set up their own businesses.
“I am very passionate about ensuring that we educate our students in Data Analytics, in Digital Marketing… in ensuring that we respond to current labour and markets,” says the Chancellor.
She says that universities across the continent should start thinking about how they can establish a leading position in the Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies.
Regarding financial sustainability at the university, Moloi-Motsepe says that they have appealed to businesses to invest in the type of labour that they will require in the future, by funding students who are pursuing studies in the field relevant to the business.
The chancellor’s family foundation, the Motsepe Foundation has contributed towards education since 1999 and she says that many more foundations and businesses in the private sector are needed to invest in tertiary education.
The Motsepe Foundation has expanded to include students from the missing middle cohort and Moloi-Motsepe encourages students to apply for this bursary opportunity. She also says that Universities should also be prioritising academic merit and financial need so that these students can be included in the higher education sector.
At the Investure Moloi-Motsepe said:
As chancellor I would like to see the University of Cape Town grow even further as an inclusive centre of excellence, embedded in the society around us, nurturing compassionate citizens and helping to prepare Africa take its rightful place in a technology-oriented world.
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