Wits Appoints Top Nuclear Physicist As New VC

The Council of the University of the Witwatersrand today announced the appointment of Professor Zeblon Vilakazi as the Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University from 1 January 2021. He takes the reins from Professor Adam Habib who leaves Wits at the end of the year to lead the School of Oriental and African Studies in London.

Professor Vilakazi is the current Vice-Principal and Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research and Postgraduate Studies at Wits. Under his leadership, Wits’ research output has more than doubled, with the University increasingly producing more research with impact. He is widely published (325 papers) and highly cited with an h-index of 70.

“Professor Zeblon Vilakazi is the epitome of a world-class researcher who is globally recognised for his scientific work, and for his contribution towards developing higher education in Africa. He is a truly talented individual who is an inspiring exemplar for all Africans,” says Mr Isaac Shongwe, Chairperson of the Wits Council, the highest decision-making body of the University. “We are confident that Professor Vilakazi will ably lead Wits to its centenary in 2022 and beyond, steward a new vision for the academy, and reinvigorate the academic project in a higher education context that is rapidly changing.”

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