Prof IL Rensburg
Prof Ihron Rensburg became Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Johannesburg in 2006, where he has stewarded the University during its demanding and novel merger. He was previously (2001-2006) Chief Executive of Strategic Corporate Services at the South African Broadcasting Corporation, in which capacity he also served as Chairperson of the National Broadcasting Association (South Africa), President of the Southern African Broadcasting Association and Founder of the continental African Broadcasting Union.
He is widely known for his policy, strategy, leadership and managerial skills, which have been ably demonstrated during his stewardship of South Africa’s post-apartheid education policy, legislation and programmes. As Deputy Director-General of the country’s national Department of Education (1995-2001), he led several teams that designed and created the new system of national and provincial education departments, as well as designed and implemented the new National Curriculum for Schools and developed various policies and legislation for school, further and higher education. It is because of this knowledge, experience and insight that the Faculty of Education at the University of Johannesburg appointed him as an honorary professor in 2007.
Prof Rensburg was an anti-apartheid activist and leader (1976-2004) and, during this time, spearheaded the creation of local, regional and national teachers’ and students’ movements and was elected leader in various civic organisations at local, regional and national levels.
Prof Rensburg holds a Doctorate in Philosophy in International Development Education from Stanford University, USA, where he completed his dissertation with distinction, titled Collective Identity and Public Policy: From Resistance to Reconstruction in South Africa, 1986-1995. He holds an MA degree in Political and Organisational Sociology, also from Stanford University, USA, and a BPharmacy degree from Rhodes University. In 2004, he completed the Global Executive Development Programme at the Graduate Institute of Business Science at the University of Pretoria, where he completed his dissertation with distinction, titled Unleashing Peak Performance and Resilience in Times of Great Challenge: How True Leaders Make the Difference.
In 2010, President Jacob Zuma named Prof Rensburg as a member of the National Planning Commission: a 25-member team that is responsible for drafting a long-term national development plan for the country. He is currently the Chairperson of Higher Education South Africa.
Prof Rensburg has won many fellowships and academic awards, including those from the Ford Foundation, the Human Sciences Research Council, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Merck, Sharpe & Dohme Pharmaceuticals and Rhodes University. He was also awarded the Metropolitan Eastern Cape Award in 2006 for his contribution to post-apartheid education reconstruction and development.
He serves in a non-executive capacity in many non-governmental organisations, including the READ Foundation (Chairperson) and the Council of Leaders of the Bethesda Methodist Mission, Berea, Johannesburg (Chairperson).
Rensburg is married to Sizeka and the couple has a teenage son, Lizolethu.