20 May 2013
South Africa’s Professor Jonathan Jansen will receive the Education Africa Lifetime Achievement Award for Africa at a gala ceremony in New York on 3 June, it was announced at the weekend.
Jansen, the vice-chancellor and rector of the University of the Free State, played a key role in turning the university “away from its apartheid legacy into an institution that is truly representative of what South Africa stands for”, Johannesburg-based non-profit organisation Education Africa said in a statement.
“Jansen is being recognized for the great strides he has taken in ensuring integration at a university that once threatened to implode with racial tension and for his continued work towards the transformation of education in South Africa.”
In 2010, two years after Jansen was appointed vice-chancellor, the institution was awarded the World Universities Forum Award for Best Practice in Higher Education for the racial integration and harmonisation of its student community.
Oprah Winfrey, who was awarded an honorary doctorate by the university in 2011, said at the time: “What has happened here at Free State in terms of racial reconciliation, of peace, of harmony, of one heart understanding and opening itself to another heart, is nothing short of a miracle. It is truly what the new South Africa is all about.”
Grammy award-winner Roberta Flack will give a special live performance at the event, which is being hosted at New York’s Mandarin Oriental Hotel by Education Africa and Brand South Africa.