Short profile

Short profile - Prof. Jonathan Jansen

Prof. (JD) Jonathan Jansen
Rector and Vice-Chancellor

Prof Jonathan Jansen is Honorary Professor of Education at the University of the Witwatersrand and Visiting Fellow at the National Research Foundation.

He is a recent Fulbright Scholar to Stanford University (2007-2008), former Dean of Education at the University of Pretoria (2001-2007), and Honorary Doctor of Education from the University of Edinburgh. He is a former high school Biology teacher and achieved his undergraduate education at UWC (BSc), his teaching credentials at UNISA (HED, BEd) and his postgraduate education in the USA (MS, Cornell; PhD, Stanford).

His most recent books are Knowledge in the Blood (2009, Stanford University Press) and has co-authored Diversity High: Class, Color, Character and Culture in a South African High School (2008, University Press of America). In these and related works he examines how education leaders balance the dual imperatives of reparation and reconciliation in their leadership practice.

He serves as Vice-President of the South African Academy of Science and from this vantage point currently leads three major studies on behalf of the Academy, including a inquiry on the role of the South African PhD in the global knowledge economy and another investigation on the future of the Humanities in South Africa.

He recently served on the boards of bodies such as the Centre for the Study of the Internationalization of Curriculum Studies, University of British Columbia; the International Commission on the Child of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (Washington D.C., USA), and as Member of the General Assembly, International Association for the Advancement of Curriculum, among others.

He has served as international consultant to UNESCO, the World Bank, the governments of Namibia and Zimbabwe, USAID, SIDA (Swedish), CIDA (Canadian), the European Union (EU), Germany, the Netherlands, DFID (UK) and the USA (through agencies such as the Academy for Educational Development in Washington D.C.). He has served as national consultant to SAQA, the CHE, HESA, the HSRC, SAMDI (now PALAMA), and the NRF. He has also worked closely with embassies of various countries represented in Pretoria, especially the Latin American representatives.

He has chaired Ministerial Committees on Further Education and Training (appointed by Minister Asmal) and (currently) School Evaluation and Teacher Appraisal (appointed by Minister Pandor). In addition has had advised provincial governments on school change.

He has extensive experience in higher education as professor, head of department, dean, (acting) deputy vice-chancellor and, at the two South African universities he has worked in, as senate representative on the Council (UDW and UP). He has chaired committees at all levels of the university, and does extensive training for deans and for young scholars.

He works closely with the business community on matters of education and training and is a non-executive director of ADvTech, a major provider of private education in South Africa.