[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]The University of Johannesburg (UJ) has welcomed Sir Hillary Beckles, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of the West Indies into an esteemed group of luminaries, after he accepted an Honorary Doctorate, conferred on him by the institution on Tuesday, 09 May 2023.
Sir Beckles is a renowned historian and academic, with a career spanning over four decades. He has published numerous books and articles on Caribbean history and culture and has been recognised for his scholarship and leadership by several prestigious institutions.
Sir Beckles is honoured on account of his sterling performance as an academic, higher education visionary, and student of reparatory justice that has inspired many across the world. He has demonstrated what it means to be a public intellectual and a community-engaged historian imagining futures, akin to UJ’s vision.
A Barbados native, Sir Beckles is a prominent academic figure in the region and currently holds the position of Vice-Chancellor and Principal at the University of The West Indies, a role he has served in since 2015. In addition to his academic work, Sir Beckles has been an outspoken advocate for social justice and human rights, particularly in the Caribbean region.
Upon accepting the honorary degree from UJ, Sir Beckles expressed gratitude for the recognition and highlighted the crucial role education plays in advancing social justice. He commended the class of 2023 for their remarkable brilliance and resilience, achieved through focus, perseverance, and commitment. Sir Beckles urged the graduates not to take their accomplishments for granted and encouraged them to build upon their achievements in the years ahead.
The conferral of the honorary doctorate on Sir Beckles represents a milestone in the longstanding relationship between the University of Johannesburg and the University of the West Indies. It is a testament to the power of academic collaboration and the shared commitment of these institutions to promoting education, research, and social justice in their respective regions.
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