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Dr. Presha Ramsarup

Dr. Presha Ramsarup is the Director of the Centre for Researching Education and Labour, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. Her PhD focused on a systems approach to change orientated learning pathways and sustainable development. Her PhD work uncovered systemic insights into the emergence of scarce skill occupational learning pathways.  Dr Ramsarup has worked as a practicing educator, professional development facilitator and environmental education advisor. She has served a technical advisor to both provincial and national government to support the development of environmental and sustainability education within South Africa’s education and training transformation process.

She has worked as researcher to produce South Africa’s first Environmental Sector Skills Plan and is currently the National Coordinator of the National Green Skills Project. Her work is focused on supporting Green Skills development through an employer led demand project to identify green jobs and researching opportunities to green traditional jobs across sectors.

Prof. Stephanie Matseleng Allais

Prof. Stephanie Matseleng Allais is the South African Research Chair of Skills Development, and Professor of Education at the Centre for Researching Education and Labour, in the School of Education at the University of the Witwatersrand.

Her research interests are in the sociology of education with a focus on macro sociological accounts of education and work, education and development, curriculum, and political economy of education. She currently teaches Education, Skills, and Development (EDUC 7131) and Economic Concepts for Researching Education, Skill Formation and Work (EDUC 7104) on the Masters of Education focused on Knowledge and Work which she launched in 2016.

Prior to joining Wits University she was a fellow at the Centre for Educational Sociology at the University of Edinburgh. Immediately prior to joining the CES, she managed and conducted research for an international research project comparing qualifications frameworks in 16 countries, for the International Labour Organization. She has worked in various parts of the South African education system, including government, a non-governmental organization in distance education, running the education department of a trade union, and teaching in a high school, as well as teaching part time in adult basic education and training, and leading a student organization. She served on many committees by appointment of Ministers of Education in South Africa, and has been involved in numerous policy processes, including being Special Advisor to the current Minister of Higher Education and Training. She has a PhD in education policy from Wits University in South Africa.

Prof. Peliwe Lolwana

Prof. Peliwe Lolwana recently retired as the Director of the Centre for Researching Education and Labour (REAL) at the University of Witwatersrand, South Africa, where she still serves as a visiting Associate Professor. Prof Lolwana chairs the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO), in addition to chairing and serving on a number of other associations, boards, foundations and councils in education and training in South Africa. She has written and published in the areas of assessment, quality assurance, adult education, vocational education, skills development and post-school education.

Victor Kgalema

Victor Kgalema has over 30 years work experience working in the labour union movement, private sector and government. His experience in government includes 15 years at Eskom; serving as a director in the Special Economic Zones Directorate at the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti); and 15 months as a Project Executive at the Mpumalanga Special Economic Zones project management unit. He also has experience in consulting in manufacturing, engineering and energy.

Ruan Naude

Ruan Naude is an emergent researcher and research co-ordinator at Wits REAL. He has experience in conducting qualitative occupation and skills research and is familiar with and experienced in data collection, data analysis, workshop organisation and report writing. He has worked with national government (DHET) and various SETAs. He has assisted with multiple PSET research projects and was a co-author of a study, with Nicola Jenkin, that examined the impact of digitalisation on occupations and skills in the banking sector. He was research co-ordinator for a project that developed cyber security occupations for BankSETA and SABRIC. A third project that he was involved in was a banking OFO mapping of occupations project. One of the key focus areas of the project was ICT occupations in the banking sector.

Themba Tshabalala

Themba Tshabalala is a researcher at the Wits REAL Centre, with a keen interest on intersectionality’s between education, skills and development. The bulk of his work at the centre is dedicated to the Vocational Education and Training (VET) Africa 4.0 research project. He holds an honors and a master’s degree in Development Studies, all from the University of the Witwatersrand. He is a qualified Life Sciences and Music (Minor) secondary school teacher. He also worked as a youth volunteer in an Non –Government Organisation and a tutor in a secondary school intervention programm called the Soweto Science Centre.

Magcina Nyoni

Magcina Nyoni is the Wits REAL Centre’s office coordinator. He has previously worked at National Treasury as a Finance Officer, the Wits School of Public Health as an Accounts Assistance and a School Admin Manager at the Wits School of Arts.

Tshandapiwa Fumo

Tshandapiwa Fumo is a Research Administrator at the Centre for Researching Education and  Labour. She holds an Honours Degree in Linguistics from the University of Zimbabwe and The London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) Diploma in Public Relations from Specis College. She has vast experience in Project Administration and Management with the Non-Government Organisation environment, Research on Green Skills, HIV and TB co-infection, Gender Based Violence and Sexual Reproductive Health. She has also been a teacher at high school and college as well as conducting Training on HIV and Gender based violence.  She has done extensive work on project evaluation. 

Cynthia Mangena

Cynthia Mangena is the office administrator at the Wits REAL Centre. She holds a National Diploma in Corporate Governance and Administration. Prior to working at REAL Cynthia worked at Total Gaz and Bidvest Afcom.


Prof. Yael Shalem

Professor Emeritus Yael Shalem is an associate professor of education at the Wits School of Education. Her research interests include professional knowledge, curriculum, teacher education and teacher work. She is one of two editors (Yael Shalem and Shirley Pendlebury) of Retrieving Teaching: Critical Issues in Curriculum Pedagogy and Learning, which was written in memory of Wally Morrow, the founder of educational theory in South Africa. Her recent book is Knowledge, Curriculum, and Preparation for Work, co-edited with Stephanie Allais (Brill Sense, 2018).

Dr Jeanne Gamble


Jeanne Gamble worked for many years in adult and vocational education. Her academic field is sociology of education and her theoretical and research interests focus on the relation between how knowledge is structured, how it is represented in the language of teaching and learning and what this means for different types of pedagogy. She also works in post-school educational policy analysis and assists students in working with the relation between conceptual and empirical work in qualitative research. Currently, she is an Honorary Research Associate in the School of Education of the University of Cape Town and a Visiting Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Researching Education and Labour (REAL), School of Education, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. Dr. Gamble publishes widely, both locally and internationally and she continues to present conference papers and participate in student development activities.



Dr Siphelo Ngcwangu


Dr. Siphelo Ngcwangu is currently a Senior Lecturer at the Sociology Department at the University of Johannesburg. He teaches Sociology at the undergraduate level and supervises at postgraduate level. His research focusses on skills development, education and the economy, youth unemployment, technological transformation of the labour process and the post school education and training system. He has published a range of journal articles, book chapters and monographs in his areas of research.  Dr. Ngcwangu has worked at BANKSETA as a research manager from 2008 to 2011 where he gained extensive experience on the skills development system in South Africa as well the sectoral skills planning methodologies. Dr. Ngcwangu worked as project leader on Theme 2 of the Labour Market Intelligence (LMIP) project of the DHET which gave him good exposure and knowledge of critical questions of labour market planning in South Africa. He is currently part of the research team on the Higher Education, Inequalities and the Public Good: Perspectives from four African Countries project which is done jointly by the University College London’s Centre for Education and International Development and the REAL Centre.

Dr Volker Wedekind

Dr. Volker Wedekind is Deputy Head of School and Director of Research and Knowledge Exchange in the School of Education, University of Nottingham. He is an Associate Professor of Vocational Education in the Centre for International Education Research and is coordinator of the UNEVOC Centre at Nottingham. He is an honorary Associate Professor at the University of Witwatersrand and is currently Visiting Fellow at the University of Cologne. He has a PhD in sociology from the University of Manchester.

His research focuses on historical-sociological perspectives on education policy, on the policy effect on teachers, institutions and curriculum, on vocational education policy in Africa, and the role of vocational education for migrants. He has published numerous articles and book chapters related to this research. He has had extensive experience working on policy processes in South Africa as a member of a number of ministerial committees and with statutory bodies including SAQA, Umalusi and the HEQC.

He serves on the Editorial Boards of the journals Pedagogy Culture Society, Journal of Education, Zeitschrift für Weiterbildungsforschung and Journal of Vocational, Adult and Continuing Education and Training and was a section editor of the Springer Handbook of Vocational Education and Training.

Dr Linda Zuze


Dr. Linda Zuze is an economist with over 15 years of experience in policy research at both the local and international levels. She has a PhD in Economics and has worked and published extensively on topics that address gender inequalities in education, the labour market and access to financial services. Linda has worked as a resident researcher for UNESCO, a university academic, a chief research specialist at the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), an independent consultant and as Head of Research for Financial Sector Deepening Zambia (FSDZ). She is also an investigator on an innovative project that is testing how social norms influence the financial decision-making of Zambian men and women. Linda is committed to reversing the acute shortage of women in policy research. She has successfully supervised a number of women in their Masters’ dissertations as well as three women with their PhDs and continues to train and mentor several others. Linda is the founder and director of Chimango Research, which works to strengthen links between research, policy and practice in order to increase developmental impact.



Carmel Marock

Carmel Marock is a South African who has been working in the development sector for the past 30 years. Carmel is currently the coordinator of the Presidential Jobs Summit process. She also supports the Presidency on research and integrated planning to address youth unemployment. Carmel was also the chairperson of the Ministerial Task Team for Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) and is supporting the Human Resource Development Council to reflect on their achievements as part of their planning for the next HRD Summit scheduled for 2020. Carmel has also been a member of the Ministerial Task Team to address the restructuring of the Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs) and has supported government with the revisions to the National Skills Development Plan and the Human Resource Development Strategy.

As an associate of REAL Carmel acts as an evaluation ‘global backstopper’ for a 6 country study on the relationship between TVET and inclusive growth. Also in this capacity Carmel has worked with REAL on a meta review of SETA and NSF programmes as well as supported a tracer study. Previously Carmel also worked with REAL to undertake research for the International Labour Organisation to explore the impact of National Qualifications Frameworks on youth employment;

As the Executive Director of Singizi, which is a research, monitoring and evaluation organisation, she has been involved in the management, design, fieldwork and analysis of numerous research and evaluation processes in the areas of TVET, skills, youth, employment creation, health, gender and human rights. This includes a range of research and evaluation studies in South Africa, in the Continent and Globally undertaken for organisations including Heartlines, Synergos, International Youth Foundation, the World Council of Churches, COC, the European Union and World Bank amongst others.