The University of SA (Unisa) made former president Thabo Mbeki’s appointment as its chancellor official on Monday in a ceremony that was attended by one-time political nemesis Blade Nzimande. Mbeki, who was forced out of office before his second term ended, was Unisa’s pick because his values aligned with the university’s vision to create an institution that espoused African knowledge systems. This also comes at a time when students have called for decolonised education. Mbeki, who pushed for an African Renaissance during his tenure as president, would also help strengthen Unisa’s ties with other universities on the continent, management said. Chancellors fulfil a ceremonial yet strategic role at universities, but Mbeki said he would engage stakeholders and students on the various issues that have plagued higher education. Unisa has more than 330,000 students, with close to 35,000 obtaining degrees and diplomas annually. Speaking after his inauguration, Mbeki repeated the sentiments...

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