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Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka to address world higher education leaders at UJ

The first black African recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature, playwright and poet Wole Soyinka from Nigeria, will deliver the keynote address at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) during the Times Higher Education (THE) BRICS & Emerging Economies Universities Summit, from 30 November to 2 December 2016.

THE, the global authority on higher education, has partnered with UJ to host the third annual BRICS & Emerging Economies Universities Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa. Building on the success of the summits in Moscow in 2014 and New Delhi in 2015, this year’s gathering will bring together higher education sector leaders, policy makers, inspiring academics and industry representatives to UJ, on the theme of ‘Reimagining the world-class university’.

Professor Ihron Rensburg, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Johannesburg said, “The conference will not only explore and celebrate flagship BRICS universities that are determined to be at the forefront of new knowledge creation alongside traditionally acclaimed universities, it will also examine innovative ways to capture a wider range of university missions, and to provide performance analyses on a much wider set of institutions with a BRICS and emerging economies universities focus.”

The third annual BRICS & Emerging Economies Universities Summit is a vital space for the critical reflection of university and business and industry leaders, and policymakers on the state of higher education, science, technology and innovation in the service of developing a far more caring, inclusive and sustainable human society and planet.

Attending delegates will have an opportunity to meet fellow higher education leaders and network at the three-day Summit and prestigious gala dinner; hear from thought leaders from across the world; share ideas, engage in debates and set the agenda on the future of world-class universities; and also gain exclusive insights the experts will be launching the 2017 THE BRICS and Emerging Economies Rankings.

Phil Baty, editor of the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, said “Professor Soyinka is one of Africa’s greatest writers as well as someone who has taught at the finest universities in the US, UK and Africa, so we are delighted he will join this prestigious and important Summit. Our rankings will reveal the best institutions on the continent and in emerging economies in the world, but I hope that by bringing the leaders of these universities together in Johannesburg we can challenge and scrutinise the rankings, and help each other to improve higher education in the 21st century.

Topics of the conference:

  • Visions of the university of the future
  • Strategies for driving up quality in teaching, research and knowledge transfer
  • Learning futures in the digital world
  • Leadership challenges facing institutions in developing economies
  • University performance data and university rankings in socio-economic contexts

Registered delegates will be able to download the THE World Summit Series App via iTunes and Google Play and enhance their networking opportunities. The App gives attendees access to the full delegate list, arrange meetings and make contact with other delegates before and at the event.

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About Wole Soyinka

Soyinka was born into a Yoruba family in Abeokuta. After studying in Nigeria and the UK, he worked with the Royal Court Theatre in London. He went on to write plays that were produced in both countries, in theatres and on radio. He took an active role in Nigeria’s political history and its struggle for independence from Great Britain. In 1965, he seized the Western Nigeria Broadcasting Service studio and broadcast a demand for the cancellation of the Western Nigeria Regional Elections. In 1967 during the Nigerian Civil War, he was arrested by the federal government of General Yakubu Gowon and put in solitary confinement for two years.

About Times Higher Education magazine

Times Higher Education is the world’s most authoritative source of information about higher education. Designed specifically for professional people working in higher education and research, THE was founded in 1971 and has been online since 1995. It is published by TES Global.

About the University of Johannesburg

The University of Johannesburg shares the pace and energy of cosmopolitan Johannesburg, the city whose name it carries. Proudly South African, UJ is alive down to its African roots, and well prepared for its role in actualising the potential that higher education holds for the continent’s development. With almost 50,000 students, around 3,200 international students, more than 7,200 postgraduates and renowned academic staff, UJ is an institution with an admirable graduation rate. UJ’s graduate success rate now stands at 83.4 per cent and the overall annual graduate output is in excess of 11,400 students. UJ is the first and only African university admitted to the highly respected consortium of 25 research-intensive universities in the world, Universitas 21 – an important endorsement of the growing international stature of UJ. UJ debuted in the 601-800 position on the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings 2016-17, and also maintained a position of 601-650 in the context of most of the South African universities assessed by the 2016 QS World University Rankings.

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