It is with great sadness that we learned of the sudden passing of Prof. Narend Baijnath, which occurred on 01 May 2022. Prof. Baijnath was the former CEO of the Council on Higher Education, South Africa, and was a founding member of the Southern African Quality Assurance Network (SAQAN).
Narend was a scholar and an organic intellectual of note with theoretical depth, rigour, and breadth in understanding and articulating critical issues in higher education and quality assurance in our region. His understanding of transformation issues in higher education was unparalleled, as was his knowledge of, and engagement with government departments and other higher education stakeholders. He was an outstanding university manager and leader.
He served as a member of the SAQAN Executive Committee from 2015 to 2020 and as acting president between December 2017 and November 2018. Prof. Baijnath contributed excellently to strengthening the SAQAN family and in many areas in higher education in South Africa, the region and globally.
In South Africa, his last senior university position was as Pro. Vice Chancellor at the University of South Africa (UNISA). Upon leaving the South African Council on Higher Education, he worked with the University of Johannesburg’s SARChI in Higher Education Teaching and Learning. He was also on the Board of the Commonwealth of Learning where he championed the cause of higher education in Africa
We extend our deepest condolences to his wife, children, family and the higher education community in South Africa, and the Southern African region where he was revered and respected as a leading theoretician and practitioner in higher education. The fraternity of higher education in the Southern African region will miss his counsel and leadership on Quality Assurance in Higher Education.
May his soul rest in peace!
Prof. Stephen Simukanga