Mr Pura Mgolombane was appointed as the executive director of student affairs with effect from 1 February 2021. He is responsible for overseeing the provision of support and development services to the UCT student body.
With over 20 years of experience working with students, Mr Mgolombane is an ideal person to lead such an integral department.
The executive director oversees:
- Student Development
- Student Financial Aid
- Student Wellness
- Student Housing
- Residence Life.
Mr Mgolombane joins us from the University of the Free State (UFS), where he held the position of Dean: Student Affairs. He is well versed in higher education, having worked in student affairs at no less than six institutions of higher learning in South Africa. After starting his career in higher education at the then Technikon Pretoria (now Tshwane University of Technology) as a facilitator in student governance, he continued to show strategic insights, the ability to make decisions and leadership skills – which culminated in his appointment as Dean: Student Affairs at UFS in 2016. During his time at UFS, among other things, he was responsible for creating humanising conditions for students in their daily lived experiences that are critical for social justice, social cohesion and academic success. As a university that aims to help build leaders of the future, these experiences and insights are invaluable to UCT.
Having held positions such as Director: Student Affairs; Head of Department: Student Ethics and Judicial Services Department; Project Manager: Transformation and Diversity; and Manager: Diversity, Ethics and Social Justice at various top universities across the country, Mr Mgolombane also has a keen understanding of what it takes to manage a department responsible for students, who are the key stakeholders of a university.
Besides his many career accomplishments, Mr Mgolombane holds numerous academic qualifications, including a Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) in corporate law, a PGDip in applied ethics for professionals, an honours degree in employment relations, a Master of Commerce in business management and a Master of Arts in diversity studies. These qualifications not only enhance his ability to engage in student matters, but also his ability to lead a diverse team with widely different skill sets and objectives.
Mr Mgolombane also played a role in the development of the student affairs profession through serving as the Deputy President of the National Association for Student Development Practitioners and, currently, as the Secretary General of the South African Association of Senior Student Affairs Professionals.