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Professor Chris Nhlapo

PhD, MSc, BSc Hons., BSc, HEd, Pr.Sci.Nat (SA), IUPAC (Fellow), MMSA Vice-Chancellor and Principal at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology

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Professor Chris Nhlapo is the Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT), a registered public higher education institution in Cape Town, South Africa. His previous position was as Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research, Technology Innovation and Partnerships, at CPUT.

Prof Nhlapo holds a BSc (Chemistry and Mathematics) (University of the Free State), a BSc Hons (Chemistry) (University of the Free State), an MSc (Chemistry) (University of Limpopo), and a PhD (Chemistry) (University of the North West). He also holds an HEd (University of the Free State).

Prof Nhlapo has undertaken numerous post-doctoral training sessions in subject-specific fields, as well as in Research Management and Technology Transfer. He has trained, supervised and lectured across South African Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) and has occupied a number of senior positions at HEIs and Science Councils. He has presented numerous papers nationally and internationally, and is well known in the international research management field. He is a Fellow of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC), and worked within Commission IV where he focused on IUPAC Projects. He headed the Department of Chemistry at the University of the Free State (UFS) before joining the National Research Foundation (NRF). At the NRF, he participated in building research capacity and capability within HEIs through the development of national and international strategic partnerships. He led the development of strategic documents and guidelines strengthening HEIs management and leadership capabilities by establishing research collaboration support and sustaining research collaborations. Some of these documents have become the blueprints standards for research capacity and development at HEIs.

Prof Nhlapo continues to participate in the international and national discourse with regard to the economic competitiveness of South Africa versus the Developmental State, Technology Transfer and Innovation in comparison with other OECD countries.

As Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research, Technology Innovation and Partnerships at CPUT, Prof Nhlapo initiated the Research, Technology and Innovation (RTI) portfolio through the development of the RTI Blueprint and supporting strategic documents and frameworks, thus setting the groundwork for research at CPUT through a focus on research uptake. He was nominated by the Deputy Vice-Chancellors’ Research Forum to serve on the Research and Innovation Strategy Group (RISG) of the Universities of South Africa Forum (USAf). He is the past Chair of the Cape Higher Education Consortium (CHEC), and was the Acting Vice-Chancellor of CPUT before his appointment as Vice-Chancellor of CPUT. Prof Nhlapo places a strong emphasis on the strength of CPUT as a University of Technology, the opportunities presented by the Fourth and Fifth Industrial Revolutions in developing the youth of South Africa, and the important role CPUT has in this.

“CPUT does not belong to us who are here now, rather we are the guardians of the institution for the future generations. We will leave behind a legacy far beyond our time here.” - Prof Chris Nhlapo

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