Ministers on hand as UKZN’s new VC is inducted today

2015-03-07 00:00

THE new vice-chancellor of the University of KwaZulu-Natal will be inducted today in front of political heavyweights and the diplomatic corps.

Dr Albert van Jaarsveld, who officially took on the duties as VC earlier this year, will officially be initiated at the Durban-Westville campus in front of ministers, ambassadors and vice-chancellors from around the country.

Van Jaarsveld previously served as the National Research Foundation’s CEO for the past five years.

Dr Phumla Mnganga, Chair of Council at UKZN said: “The ceremonial act of installing the new vice-chancellor of the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Dr Albert van Jaarsveld, is our way of not only welcoming him to the institution but also entrusting him with more than 100 years of academic achievement on which he can make his mark,” Mnganga said.

Among the guests will be national ministers Naledi Pandor (Science and Technology), Nhlanhla Nene (Finance) and Lindiwe Sisulu (Human Settlements) while representatives from Indonesia, the USA and Madagascar will be present.

Dr van Jaarsveld’s career in research, teaching and leadership includes academic and management positions held at the Universities of Pretoria and Stellenbosch and Dartmouth College in the USA.

He obtained his PhD in Zoology from the University of Pretoria and pursued post-doctoral studies and research in Conservation Biology and Global Security in Australia and the UK respectively, and completed executive management training at Harvard University.

His research work focused on biodiversity and conservation planning, biodiversity and climate change as well as ecosystem services. He was appointed full professor at both the universities of Pretoria and Stellenbosch, and has published in excess of 100 primary research papers, including highly cited works in science and nature.

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