To look at how student protests of 2015 and 2016 impacted and continue to shape the local and other higher education landscapes today, the University of the Free State (UFS) will host Professor Adam Habib and Dr Max Price in a panel discussion on 21 November, 2023, from 13h00 to 14h30.
At the peak of the 2015-2016 #FeesMustFall and #RhodesMustFall student protests, the two former vice-chancellors were leading the University of the Witwatersrand and the University of Cape Town, respectively.
The 21 November engagement forms part of the UFS’s Thought-Leader Webinar Series facilitated by the Vice-Chancellor and Principal of that university, Professor Francis Petersen.
During this session, titled Student protest action, politics, and higher education, Professor Habib (left, above), now the Director of the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) at the University of London, and Dr Price (right, above), Emeritus Vice-Chancellor of UCT and now a consultant, will reflect on their respective experiences in leadership positions during those tumultuous times. They will share lessons learnt and provide insights into how these events continue to influence the current higher education landscape in South Africa and further afield.
The Thought-Leader Webinar Series is now an entrenched tradition at the UFS. Some of the topics explored in 2022 included Crime in South Africa – who is to blame; Are our glasses half full or half empty; What needs to be done to power up South Africa; A look into the future of South Africa.
During 2023, the series commenced with a discussion on Threats to South Africa’s stability and security challenges, followed by A culture of acceptance – is this South Africa’s greatest threat? and The need for a global and regional plan / approach to respond to the consequences of the Russia-Ukraine war.
Professor Francis Petersen (right), Vice-Chancellor and Principal at UFS, will moderate this panel discussion as the two senior academics also reflect on their recently published books, Rebels and Rage: Reflecting on #FeesMustFall and Statues and Storms, respectively.
To join this event, register via the link below before 16 November 2023.
Further information may be solicited from Ms Alicia Pienaar at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Speakers
1. Professor Adam Habib
Professor Adam Habib is an academic, researcher, activist, administrator, and well-known public intellectual. A Professor of Political Science, Habib has more than 30 years of academic, research, and administration expertise, spanning five universities and multiple local and international institutions.
Prior to his appointment as Director of SOAS, he was the Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) in Johannesburg, South Africa, between 2013 and 2020. He has also served as Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Research at the University of Johannesburg; as Executive Director of Democracy and Governance at the Human Sciences Research Council; and as Director: Centre for Civil Society and Professor of Development at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. He is widely published in internationally acclaimed journals and books. His works include two well-received monographs, South Africa’s Suspended Revolution: Hopes and Prospects and Rebels and Rage: Reflecting on #FeesMustFall.
The academic contributions of Professor Habib led to his election to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, in addition to serving as a fellow of both the African Academy of Sciences and the Academy of Science of South Africa. He also serves on the Council of the United Nations University.
2. Dr Max Price
Dr Max Price was appointed Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cape Town in July 2008, completing his ten-year term in June 2018. During the first seven years of his term, UCT experienced growth and success in research and teaching, as well as global recognition. This continued during the last three years but was overshadowed by the Rhodes Must Fall and Fees Must Fall protests during 2015 to 2017. Dr Price led the university through these storms and back to relative stability in 2018.
Dr Price studied Medicine at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), during which time he became deeply involved in student politics, becoming SRC president a year after the Soweto uprising. He subsequently did a Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) degree at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar. Following clinical work in academic and rural hospitals in South Africa, he obtained a master’s degree in Community Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and then worked as an academic in the areas of health policy and economics, rural health services, and health science education.
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