Opinion

Lessons from the frontline: what I learnt from managing Wits for eight years

27 December 2020 - 00:00 By Adam Habib

My last day in office as vice-chancellor of Wits University was on 18 December, even though my tenure formally comes to an end on New Year’s Eve. It’s been just shy of eight years and what a ride it has been. I presided over two national challenges; #FeesMustFall and the Covid-19 pandemic. Both had the potential to destroy our university. Yet today Wits is stronger than it has ever been.

We graduate about 9500 students in 2020, up from 6500 in 2013. Our research is just under 2000 units, up from 1200 eight years ago. Our postgraduates students now number over 15500, up from 9800 in 2013. 94 percent of our graduates get a job within six months of entering the job market. The turnover of Wits university and the group — Wits Health Consortium, Wits Enterprise, Donald Gordan — has doubled to just over R10 billion. We achieved all of this while also transforming our institution...

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