Appointment of Dean: Centre for Higher Education Development

31 Mar 2022
Associate Professor Kasturi Behari-Leak, new Dean of CHED
31 Mar 2022

Dear colleagues and students

I am delighted to announce that our very own Associate Professor Kasturi Behari-Leak, has been appointed as the Dean: Centre for Higher Education Development (CHED). She will take up the position on 1 April 2022.

Associate Professor Behari-Leak has a long history in education, with 32 years spent in the education space, of which 17 have been in higher education. This includes, but is not limited to, educational and organisational leadership, higher education transformation, social inclusion and educational change, decolonial practice, curriculum development and pedagogical innovation.

Her relationship with the University of Cape Town (UCT) spans over a decade. She began as a lecturer in academic staff development, progressing to senior lecturer and eventually holding the position of Director: Academic Staff and Professional Development Unit. In that same year she was appointed as deputy dean: Teaching and Learning and promoted to Associate Professor in Educational Development: Higher Education Studies.

But her leadership roles extend beyond UCT. As past president of the Higher Education Learning and Teaching Association of Southern Africa, she leads its PhD University Staff Doctoral Programme. She is the current president of the International Consortium for Educational Development, a clear indication of her commitment to the development of higher education globally. Thus, her insights are recognised internationally. She leads a national collaborative staff development project and convenes an annual colloquium for new academics in the region.

She serves on the Executive Management Committee for the DHET’s South African University Teachers programme and is a peer advisor on the Council on HE Peer Advisory Group: The Reconceptualising Learning and Teaching (RELATE) Project. She has been invited as a keynote speaker to innumerable national and international events and has presented at over 32 conferences globally. In addition, she has published numerous peer‐reviewed research articles and chapters in books. She supervises and teaches in the Higher Education Studies PGDip, Master’s and PhD programmes.

Associate Professor Behari-Leak holds a Bachelor of Arts, an Honours in Speech and Drama, a University Higher Diploma in Education, and a Bachelor of Education from the University of Durban-Westville, now known as the University of KwaZulu-Natal. She also holds a Master of Education from UCT and a Doctor of Philosophy from Rhodes University.

With her experience in higher education, leadership and commitment to transformation, I believe she will continue to build on the excellent work of CHED and further critically explore our teaching and learning practice and scholarship at UCT through the lens of Vision 2030

We congratulate her and look forward to sharing her vision. She will be taking over from Professor Alan Cliff, who has held the position of Interim Dean since July 2018. We would like to deeply thank Professor Cliff for taking on this important role during this time.


Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng