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Not business as usual

Following her pursuit to position Unisa as a student-centric university, Professor Puleng LenkaBula, Principal and Vice-Chancellor (VC) of Unisa, is working towards her vision to ensure that Unisa is a socially just university that considers issues of profitability and also of responsibility,  ethics, moral agency and initiative. Among other initiatives, LenkaBula has been working on fostering healthy relationships with businesses. Following her dinner with the business community last year, the VC is set to meet individually with business leaders. Her first meeting this year was with Nicky Oppenheimer, a renowned businessman who is a representative of the founders of mining giants Anglo American and De Beers.

Nicky Oppenheimer and Prof Puleng LenkaBula, Principal and VC of Unisa

At the meeting, LenkaBula and Oppenheimer discussed the work they both do, and the VC outlined Unisa’s vision in the higher education landscape, and across the country and the globe. Through their engagement, LenkaBula and Oppenheimer explored their common interests through their institutions as well as the possibilities of collaborating to create innovative solutions in society.

LenkaBula is set to continue positioning Unisa as a university that is at the centre of solutions to problems. “My vision of Unisa is a very unique set that contributes to the development of South Africa by aligning ourselves with some of the aspirations of the National Development Plan (NDP), but not only the NDP,” she says. “When you live in a country where youth and young adults might fall through the cracks because of their economic condition, we must invest in solutions to these critical or grand challenges of our times.”

Through individual meetings with business leaders, LenkaBula aims to position Unisa and reclaim its space in academia, and the ODeL space specifically, by reinventing, reshaping, and regenerating the university and its approaches.  It can no longer be business as usual, “There’s an urgent need to shift the manner in which we do our work,” says LenkaBula.

Publish date: 2022-01-24 00:00:00.0