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Professor Bongani D Bantwini has been appointed as the new Executive Dean of the Faculty of Humanities, Social Sciences and Education at the University of Venda (UNIVEN) with effect from 01 May 2021. He is a C2 NRF Rated Researcher. Prof Bantwini has received his Ph.D in Elementary Education with a focus in Elementary Science Education and Masters degree in Secondary Science Education both from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in the United States of America, where he was a Fulbright Scholar. Other professional qualifications include Bachelor of Education Honors (B.Ed Hons degree) from the University of Port Elizabeth (now Nelson Mandela University); Bachelor of Education (B.Ed. degree) – University of Port Elizabeth (Nelson Mandela University); Further Diploma in Education (FDE) – University of Port Elizabeth (Nelson Mandela University) and Senior Primary Teachers Diploma (SPTD) – Cicira Teacher Training College. Additionally, Prof Bantwini has a National Certificate, N6, N5 & N4 in Commerce and Marketing Management, and several other certificates. 

Professor Bongani D Bantwini

Prof Bantwini has over 20 years of working experience in the education field and higher Education and has taught for various universities both in the USA and SA. Before joining UNIVEN, Prof Bantwini, occupied several strategic positions locally and internationally. His employment history among others include: Research Manager at Walter Sisulu University; Visiting Professor at Walter Sisulu University; Research Professor of Schooling (Primary and Secondary Education) at North West University in Potchefstroom; Senior Research Specialist at the Human Sciences Research Council in Pretoria, Head of Department (Acting): Science Communication and Senior Research Specialist at Research Use and Impact Assessment Unit, Human Sciences Research Council, Pretoria; Assistant Professor at Kennesaw State University Atlanta Georgia, USA; Science Education Research Fellow at University of Northern Iowa, USA; Senior Research Specialist (Post-Doctoral Fellow) at HSRC, Pretoria; Teaching and Research Assistant at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign USA; Science Education Lecturer at the University of Port Elizabeth (now Nelson Mandela University); Science and Mathematics teacher for the Department of Basic Education. He has had a number of research and teacher training consulting positions in South Africa and USA. 

In terms of research, Prof Bantwini is committed to interdisciplinary approach to scholarships and his research experiences have provided him an opportunity to make connections between theory and classroom practice. Over the years his research agenda has evolved in the pursuit of finding solutions to some of the educational challenges that daily confronts humankind. Prof Bantwini’s research agenda continues focusing on curriculum matters, teaching and learning, teacher development, school districts, and other areas he finds of interest or requiring research intervention. He has extensively published in refereed local and international accredited journals, solo and co-authored articles, and book chapters. Some of the publications have enjoyed some spotlight with a significant impact. He presents papers in National and international conferences and continue to serve in various research committees. He has also produced client research and evaluation reports for some government departments and international organizations. Furthermore, he has a successful record in obtaining external research funding. 

As part of his ongoing scholarship, he currently serves in three (3) editorial advisory journal boards: University of Swaziland Journal of Education, Journal of Progressive Education and Journal of Popular Education in Africa. He continues to serve in various committees and review for many local and international journals. He also plays a role at the National Research Foundation, as he reviews and moderate in their various programmes and constantly provide feedback on how to better their funding instruments. 

Amongst others, Prof Bantwini is currently a Member of Board of Director at the Sci-Bono Science Discovery Centre NPC since 2016. He is also a Board Member for the Centre for Democracy, Research and Development based in Nairobi, Kenya. This Centre for Democracy, Research and Development, (CEDRED) contribute towards sustainable development in Eastern Africa by promoting positive, innovative, and accommodating approaches to addressing challenges of development through capacity building, advocacy, research and policy development, effective dissemination, and partnership building. 

UNIVEN Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Dr Bernard Nthambeleni welcomes Prof Bantwini to UNIVEN, and he highlighted that Prof Bantwini is one of the team players who will assist to position UNIVEN for impact and relevance. He urged the University Community to give Prof Bantwini the necessary support in his new role as the Executive Dean of the Faculty of Humanities, Social Sciences and Education. 

Issued by: 

Department of Marketing, Branding & Communication 

University of Venda 

Tel: (015) 962 8525 
Date: 24 May 2021 

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