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Former Wits Vice-Chancellor addresses Faculty of Science graduates

- Wits Communications

Prof. Loyiso Nongxa, former Vice-Chancellor of Wits today delivered the keynote address at the Faculty of Science graduation ceremony.

Prof. Nongxa is a mathematics scholar who held the post of Vice-Chancellor and Principal at Wits for 10 years.

He made history in 1982 when he became South Africa’s first African Rhodes Scholar to graduate from Oxford University with a doctoral degree in mathematics. Hailing from the Eastern Cape, Professor Nongxa completed his undergraduate and masters degrees at the University of Fort Hare before going to Oxford.

On his return to South Africa, he lectured at the University of Lesotho and at the University of Natal before joining the University of the Western Cape (UWC), where he served as the Dean of the Faculty of Natural Sciences. He joined Wits University two years later as the Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research and in June 2003 was appointed as the Vice-Chancellor and Principal of Wits University.

Over the past few decades, Prof. Nongxa has actively participated in transforming the higher education landscape in South Africa. He is well versed in the management of higher education institutions and has served on numerous university Councils. He served as a Visiting Fellow at Harvard University and the University of Illinois and as a Visiting Researcher at the University of Colorado, the University of Hawaii, the University of Connecticut and Baylor University in the United States, amongst others.,

Prof. Nongxa serves on numerous boards and committees related to science and technology, and higher education. He is the Founding Director of the Centre for Mathematical and Computational Sciences and serves as the Chairperson of the Board of the National Research Foundation. He has also initiated several signature talent, equity and transformation programmes.

Prof. Nongxa’s research passion still lies in mathematics and he is both a member of the South African Mathematical Society and the American Mathematical Society.