Meet the Academic staff

Name Edith Dinong Phaswana
Highest qualification PhD (London South Bank University, UK)
Position Director: Academic Programmes and Associate Professor
Contact details
Research interests/expertise Development policy and governance; women and leadership; higher education transformation; equity and development
Teaching CPPA Public Policy for Africa's Development
Current projects Excavating Afrikan women's legacies

Short biography

Edith Dinong Phaswana is Associate Professor at Unisa and Director of Graduate Academic Programmes at the TM-School (Unisa). She previously served as Head of Unisa's strategic Thabo Mbeki African Leadership Institute (Tmali), 2018–2020. She holds a doctorate in International Development (aka Development Studies) from London South Bank University in the UK. Edith has published scholarly papers in the area of African development speci´Čücally public policy and governance, higher education transformation, as well as youth and women leadership. She has succesfully supervised a total of 59 students in these areas. She boasts an extensive international experience, having received specialist training in countries such as the UK, the US, Brazil and China. She also led and taught in prestigious programmes, including the US Presidential Programme “Young African Leaders Initiative” (Yali), Tmali, and the Mandela Institute for Development Studies (Minds) Leadership Programme. Phaswana also serves as a member of the editorial board and reviewer for several international journals. She has presented over 40 conference papers at national and international platforms.

A multi-awardee scholar, activist and practitioner, Phaswana featured in the 2021 Public Sector Magazine, the 16th edition of the Standard Bank Top Women Leaders Magazine, and the 2013 Stepping up: A new generation of South Africa's leadership. She is the recipient of several awards including the Mail & Guardian's “Top 100 Women Changing South Africa” (2019); Distinguished Teaching Excellence in the Humanities Award (2014); and the Leadership for Social Justice Award (2006). She is the co-editor of the National Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences (NIHSS) award-winning title Black academic voices: The South African experience (2019). Prior to joining Unisa she was based at the University of Johannesburg.

Her experience in governance include serving as a trustee for the Old Mutual Education Trust and as Executive Board Member of Unisa/Thabo Mbeki Foundation Partnership (2018 to date) and the UJ/Phumani Paper Partnership (2010–2013). Previous executive leadership positions include serving as Deputy Chairperson of the South African Chapter of the International Fellowship Programme Alumni Association (Ifpaarsa); and as President (2018–2021), Deputy President (2013–2015) and Secretary (2015–2017) of the South Africa Development Studies Association (Sadsa). She is a founding member of the Africa Decolonial Research Network (Adern). Prof Phaswana continues to provide leadership, and research advisory and consultancy services to various organisations, and to the government of South Africa.

Selected publications