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4 April 2024
UWC Council Appoints Professor Robert Balfour as New Vice-Chancellor (from January 2025)
I am pleased to inform you that, following rigorous deliberation, the Council of the University of the Western Cape has officially appointed Professor Robert Balfour as the incoming Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the University, effective 1 January 2025.

Professor Balfour currently holds the position of Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Teaching and Learning at North-West University (NWU) and brings a wealth of experience in academic and administrative leadership spanning almost 20 years in public and private higher education institutions.

Frequently invited as a keynote speaker on language and education in South Africa, Professor Balfour has also served as a peer reviewer to education institutions such as the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), Wits, NWU and the University of the Free State for the Council on Higher Education.

Professor Balfour was Honorary Professor of Education in the School of Education Studies at the UKZN until 2015 (and was reappointed in 2017), and has held three fellowships at the Institute for Commonwealth Studies at the University of London (2003 to 2005), Clare Hall at Cambridge University (2003), and the Institute of Education at the University of London (2014).

Professor Balfour completed his schooling at Christian Brothers College in Pretoria and attended Rhodes University, where he completed his BA, BA Honours in English (1993), and a Higher Diploma in Education. He enrolled for a Master's degree in English and Education at UKZN, which he completed with distinction. Professor Balfour was the recipient of a Commonwealth Trust Scholarship in 1997 and completed his doctoral degree in English at Corpus Christi College in Cambridge in 2000. His extensive expertise encompasses various domains, including applied linguistics, post-colonial literary criticism, and education. Professor Balfour's contributions extend beyond academia, as he is also an accomplished painter and published author of poetry and short fiction in literary journals internationally.

With numerous accolades to his name, including being recognised as a National Research Foundation-rated academic, Professor Balfour's dedication to advancing language learning, rural education, and post-colonial literature is exemplary.

Please join me in extending our warmest congratulations to Professor Balfour on his appointment. We are confident that under his leadership, the University of the Western Cape will continue to thrive and excel in its trajectory as a leading higher education institution.

Ms Xoliswa Daku
Chairperson of Council