Professor Mandla Stanley Makhanya was appointed Principal and Vice Chancellor of the University of South Africa on 1st January, 2011 and is a prominent proponent of Higher Education leadership and advocacy. He has served as President of the International Council for Distance Education (ICDE) till 31st December, 2017. Professor Makhanya is also the Treasurer of the African Council for Distance Education (ACDE) and the President of the Higher Education Teaching and Learning Association (HETL) – International Body.
He has done his Doctorate in Philosophy from the University of Pretoria. He holds a Masters Degree in Industrial Sociology from the University of KwaZulu Natal, BA (Honours) Degree in Sociology from the University of Fort Hare, and Post Graduate Diploma in Tertiary Education from the University of South Africa. He has done his Advanced Management Program (AMP) from Harvard Business School. His Honorary Degrees include Doctor of Philosophy (Honoris Causa): In recognition of outstanding leadership at Unisa and sustained contribution as a distinguished scholar in distance education from the University of Athabasca, Canada; and Doctor of Humane Letters (Honoris Causa) from Thomas Edison State University, USA.
Professor Makhanya maintains active scholarship through regular publications. He is a Deputy Chairperson of the South African National Commission for UNESCO and Chairperson of the Culture Sector of the South African National Commission for UNESCO. He has also been a member of the National Committee of the Memory of the World (MoW). In the 1990s he has served in various leadership roles in the South African Sociological Association, including as its Deputy President in 1998, for a period of two years. He continues to be a member of the South African Sociological Association (SASA) and the International Association of Sociology (ISA). Prof Makhanya is on the advisory board of JRODel (Journal of Research in Open, Distance and e-Learning).
Prof Makhanya is married to Mandu Makhanya and they are blessed with four children.