NWU student leaders continue to make their mark

Belinda Bantham -- Mon, 05/06/2019 - 10:53

NWU student leaders continue to make their mark

Student leaders at institutions of higher learning are often perceived as lacking academic impact and therefore not completing their studies in time.

The Minister of Higher Education and Training, Naledi Pandor, also recently made a clarion call to student leaders to complete their studies in the allotted period.

Fortunately the North-West University (NWU) is preparing future leaders that have impact and give back.

Not only has three former student leaders of the campus in Mahikeng obtained their qualifications in record time, but they have gone all the way up the academic ladder and obtained PhDs in their respective fields of study.

Dr Bismark Tyobeka, Prof Ilyayambwa Mwanawina and Dr Tsietsi Mmutle have all made their mark as former presidents of the Student Representative Council (SRC).

Dr Tyobeka held the title during the 1999/2000 term of office, while Prof Mwanawina held the reins in 2010/2011. Dr Mmutle was president during 2012/2013.

“With scores of student leaders graduating from the NWU, it shows the university’s commitment to inculcating academic excellence within the ranks of its student leadership,” said Prof Dan Kgwadi, NWU vice-Chancellor.

More about these exceptional leaders

Dr Bismark Tyobeka

Dr Tyobeka, prior to his appointment as the fifth chairperson of the NWU Council, had been a member of the Council since November 2014.

He is recognised as one of the leading nuclear power experts in the world. He has held the position of CEO of the National Nuclear Regulator of South Africa (NNRSA) since 2013, and plays a major role in various initiatives of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Prior to his appointment as CEO of the NNRSA, he worked as a nuclear engineer at the IAEA in Austria (since 2008). From 2002 to 2007 he worked at the Penn State University as senior reactor physicist, and from 2000 to 2002 he held the same position at Eskom.

Dr Tyobeka holds a master’s degree and PhD in nuclear engineering from the Pennsylvania State University, USA. He also has a master’s degree in applied radiation science and technology from the NWU, a master’s degree in management, specialising in project management, from Colorado Technical University in the USA, and a bachelor’s degree in physics and chemistry from the NWU.

He was further honoured with an NWU Alumni Award of Excellence in 2013 for his personal and career achievements, in particular for his huge contribution to nuclear science across the world.

Prof Ilyayambwa Mwanawina

Prof Mwanawina is currently an associate professor of Law at the NWU, having completed his doctoral studies on regional integration and international law.

He received various awards and recognitions, including the NWU Institutional Teaching Excellence Award and the Excellence in Research Merit Award.

Driven by his passion for an African renaissance, he continues to publish on topics related to regional integration, governance and human rights.

Currently he serves as the NWU’s acting executive director for student life.

Dr Tsietsi Mmutle

Dr Mmutle completed his undergraduate degree in 2011, a BAHons in 2012, and a master’s degree in communication in 2013.

His academic prowess led to the Rector’s Award in 2012, which allowed him the opportunity to pursue his master’s fieldwork as an exchange student at Hanseo University in South Korea.

Shortly after returning, he joined the campus academia as lecturer in 2014.

During his student years he held various leadership positions. These include residence committee public relations officer, deputy president and president of the campus’ Student Council, as well as secretary general of the then Institutional Representative Student Council.

He also holds a PhD in communication management from the University of Pretoria. His research interests include government communication, strategic communication, reputation management, participatory and marketing communication.

True to the pay-off line of the institution, not only does it all start at the NWU, but it seems the institution grooms future leaders directly from grass roots and humble beginnings.

Dr Bismark Tyobeka

Prof Ilyayambwa Mwanawina

Dr Tsietsi Mmutle