South African higher education specialist Professor Zaheer Hamid has been appointed to the Academic Council of Honoris United Universities, the first pan-African private higher education network covering several countries on the continent.
The Academic Council is intended to boost the sharing of academic best practices in Africa and globally and to develop a broad employability agenda designed around entrepreneurial and workplace skills and credentials.
Professor Hamid who is the Academic Director at MANCOSA, one of the largest and leading private higher education institutions in South Africa which is affiliated to Honoris, has a special interest in teacher training and educational research as well as the internationalisation of higher education.
He said he will advocate for a change in mindset from “seeking jobs to training for jobs”.
“The Academic Council will lead the deployment of Honoris’ unique collaborative intelligence model through the co-ownership and sharing of skills and resources across member institutions within the network.
“The Academic Council will also direct a diverse range of programmes including international exchanges, collaborative projects as well as learning environments to enable students to benefit from the sharing of ideas, real-world expertise, and multi-cultural immersion.
“The mandate of the Academic Council to develop cutting-edge learning infrastructures will manifest itself as the future iTeachLAB at MANCOSA in South Africa,” said Professor Hamid.
After completing a Bachelor of Education teaching degree at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Professor Hamid pursued a Master of Business Administration (MBA) programme with the University of Bedfordshire and then later completed a PhD with the North West University’s Potchefstroom Business School.
“My former years in higher education were spent leading the commercial areas of marketing, Africa expansion, and new business development. The last five years of my career was spent on internationalisation of higher education and academic leadership and governance roles.
“Being in the business school scene has provided me with opportunities to work with government, education authorities and the private sector – and this incredibly powerful network allows me to contribute towards advancing private business education provisioning in sub-Saharan Africa,” said Professor Hamid.
He added it was a privilege to be appointed to the Honoris Academic Council and the weight placed on his shoulders will enable him to bring meaningful change in the lives of many thousands across Africa.
Other members of the Honoris Academic Council are Dr Wafa Troudi Cherif, Dean of the Health Science School at Université Centrale in Tunisia; Dr Amine Bensaid, President of Université Mundiapolis in Casablanca, Morocco; Dr Kais Mabrouk, Executive Director of International Development at Université Centrale; and Dr Karim Alami, Deputy General Manager of Ecole Marocaine des Sciences de l’Ingénieur (EMSI), the largest engineering school in Morocco.
Luis Lopez, CEO of Honoris United Universities, said the Honoris Academic Council will drive focus on enabling students to be agile, mobile and highly competitive professionals, with superior 21st century workplace skills.
“The Council’s work is an important investment in the development of world-class human capital that has the potential to transform Africa by equipping students with soft skills and digital capabilities; and real-world competencies that will allow them to thrive in the ever-changing global economy.”