Meet The First Woman To Be Appointed As Principal and Vice Chancellor of the University of South Africa

Professor Puleng LenkaBula is the first woman to be appointed as Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of South Africa (UniSA) since the establishment of the university in 1873, and the fifth woman to occupy the position of Vice-Chancellor in South Africa.

“In Professor LenkaBula, we have appointed the right calibre of leader; [she] is student-centred and shares our institutional vision on decoloniality and transformation, knowledge-production, innovation and advancing the socio-economic development of South Africa, Africa and the world, in particular for the benefit of Africa”

Sakhi Simelane, Chairperson of the University of South Africa Council
Professor Puleng LenkaBula

Professor Puleng LenkaBula holds a Bachelor degree in Education from the University of Lesotho, a Masters degree in Social Ethics from Saint Andrew’s College, University of Saskatchewan, Canada, and a PhD in Ethics (Theology and Philosophy) from the University of South with a specialization in Ethics of the Economy, Ecology, and Politics.

“For me, this appointment validates the sentiments of black girls and black boys who might not have had the confidence that they could be able to assume leadership position in different sectors. They might be inspired to know that it is possible to become the leader of a university of our size and impact.”

Professor Puleng LenkaBula
Professor Puleng LenkaBula

Professor Puleng LenkaBula is currently the Vice-Rector: Institutional Change, Student Affairs and Community Engagement at the University of the Free State (UFS). She was the Dean of Students at WITS University, where she was also a member of the Vice Chancellor’s Office (VCO) and the Senior Executive Team. Before her appointment, she held the Dean of Students position at the University of South Africa, and she served as an associate professor of ethics.

“This appointment is further testimony of the commitment of council to the transformation project it introduced and drove relentlessly in the university over the years, as well as ensuring that its workforce is alive to and reflective of the demographics of the country and the gender-empowerment wave sweeping the country.”

UniSA statement

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