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ASC Seminars

The 70th "Reimagining South African Universities in their Multiple Contexts"

Monday, November 14, 2022 5:40 - 7:10 pm (JST)


We will invite Prof. Ahmed Bawa, a former Chief Executive Officer of the Universities South Africa (USAf), as a speaker at the 70th ASC Seminar. He currently stays in Japan as a visiting professor of Tokyo College, founded in 2019 to serve as an interface between the University of Tokyo and overseas researchers and research institutions.

COVID-19 pandemic reveals that universities are partly complict in some social problems such as social inequalities. Prof. Bawa will discuss why it is important for unviersities, as knowledge-intensive social institutions, to reimagine themselves.

◆Speaker: Prof. Ahmed Bawa (Visiting Professor, Tokyo College, University of Tokyo / Professor, Johannesburg Business School, University of Johannesburg)

◆Short bio: Professor Ahmed Bawa, a theoretical physicist, is a Visiting Fellow at Tokyo College, University of Tokyo. He is also Professor of Higher Education at the Johannesburg Business School, having just vacated the position of Chief Executive Officer at Universities South Africa. He was the main organizer of the South Africa - Japan University Forum in 2019 and 2022. His previous positions include Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the Durban University of Technology as well as Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Natal and at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.

◆Title: Reimagining South African Universities in their Multiple Contexts


Universities have diverse and complex roles in the multilayered democracies in which they find themselves. They are finely interwoven into the long-term sustainability projects of societies through their production and application of knowledge, but they are also expected to address the immediate, prevailing challenges. The global and local dimensions of the grand challenges facing humanity speak to the imperative for concerted global responses to them. Universities span these dimensions.

In contemplating the profound social and economic impacts of the CoViD-19 pandemic universities around the world have been forced to reimagine themselves, driven in part by the view that they are (partly) complicit in the emergence of the non-sustainable human-earth nexus, the development of vast inequalities across societies, and the erosion of human dignity. In the South African context, the extensive student activism of 2015-2017 raised other serious concerns relating to the alienating nature of the knowledge project of the universities.

To address these large challenges, universities as knowledge-intensive social institutions must engage in processes of reimagination, beginning with understanding the extent to which the effectiveness of their roles as knowledge producers on the global stage depends on their interwovenness with local contexts. Finally, universities are special as knowledge-intensive institutions in that they have students. What are the implications of this for such reimagination processes?

◆Date & Time: Monday, November 14, 2022 5:40 - 7:10 pm (JST) / 8:40 - 10:10 (GMT)

◆Venue: Onsite (Room 223 at Research and Lecture Bldg., Tokyo University of Foreign Studies) & Online (Zoom Meeting)

◆Language: English

◆Admission: Free

◆Pre-registration is required. Please visit here for registration by November 12, 2022. The application will be closed as soon as the capacity reaches 30 for onsite and 300 for online. We will send the Zoom Meeting information to the registered email address on Nov. 13, 2022.

◆Jointly Organized by African Studies Center - TUFS and Kanto branch of Japan Association for African Studies

【報 告】

We held the seminar in a hybrid style and 7 participated on-site while 26 participated online.
After the presentation on the situation surrounding the University in South Africa in the global dynamics as well as the mission of the academics, there was a Q & A session. Scholars from Japan, Cameroun, and South Africa made comments based on their concerns and we deepen our understanding of the academic situation and its mission.