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Message from the Head of School

- Professor David Everatt

As we approach the cold mid-point of 2019, the Wits School of Governance is a warm and active place to be.

Classes are in full swing, and exams are now largely done, and piles of marking sit on academics' desks. Those same academics, while teaching, administering and finding time to do their (our) own research, also pushed up the School’s publication output to its highest ever – helped by some very active visiting staff.

Recently appointed visitors include the renowned Professor Joel Netshitenzhe of Mapungubwe, the (dare I say it) younger Professor Busani Ngcaweni currently setting up the new PCAS, Professor Alain Tschudin, the Head of Good Governance Africa, who join slightly older hands including the UN’s Peter de Clerq, most recently from a Somalian posting, Reverend Frank Chikane (who needs no introduction), and others. Taken together, the School boasts an enormously impressive array of visiting staff – visiting fellows including Judith February, Dr Abba Omar and many others. As we enrol them in our contact and online teaching, their value add will be significant.

The School will also be growing, with two entirely new senior lecturer positions currently being filled – courtesy of the Commerce, Law and Management Faculty, to which we remain indebted – increasing our academic staff and enhancing the quality of teaching and supervision for our students. We are also filling vacant posts at some pace, and hope to make five new appointments in the next month. This will allow all students more time with their supervisors and will allow us to try to break large classes into smaller ones, and enhance the student experience.

Our Master's programme is considerably over-subscribed, with demand at a very high level, which means competition for seats is tough. We are about to welcome our second PhD applicants for the year, who will begin their pre-PhD qualification programme (‘Social theory’) in August this year. The staff has also been working exceptionally hard, supported by Murray Cairns and Professor Alex van den Heever, to get high-quality modules online.

The Wits School of Governance is in rude health, and we look forward to growing bigger and better in the future.