The University of the Western Cape

The University of the Western Cape (UWC) is a vibrant, diverse and dynamic University rooted in the African continent with an increasing global reach. UWC actively responds in critical and creative ways to the country’s development needs within an ever-changing and challenging global context.


(5-year contract with the option of renewal)

The Faculty of Natural Sciences at the University of the Western Cape is internationally recognised for its learning, teaching, and research excellence. The Faculty comprises nine academic departments, a School of Pharmacy and several world-class research institutes and Centres. The Faculty offers undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in the major scientific disciplines and a professional degree in Pharmacy.

Over the past decade, there has been an unprecedented investment in Science infrastructure at UWC. As a result, the Faculty has state-of-the-art Life Sciences, Chemical Sciences and Computational and Mathematical Sciences facilities with the required research and teaching infrastructure to accommodate the steadily expanding undergraduate and postgraduate student intake and the Faculty’s ambitious research agenda. Productive and well-established research programmes in all our academic departments and the School of Pharmacy are complemented by six South African Research Chairs and one UWC research-funded Chair in various niche research areas. Committed to student academic success, the Faculty recently received national and institutional awards for its innovative undergraduate teaching and learning approaches. The Faculty aims to encourage, equip and inspire undergraduate and postgraduate students, many of whom come from disadvantaged communities, to continue onto meaningful and rewarding scientific careers in South Africa and beyond.

Reporting directly to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Academic, the Dean is a member of the University’s Senior Management team. As the head of the Faculty, and as an academic and administrative leader, the Dean is responsible for strategically positioning the Faculty and pursuing the Faculty’s strategic goals as per the University’s Institutional Operating Plan.

The Dean will lead the Faculty while ensuring it fulfils UWC’s mission, especially in meaningful transformation. The Dean plays a leading role in forging links with relevant industries, donors, funders and government; implements learning and teaching strategies in the Faculty to ensure the overarching planning, development, innovation and amendments to academic programmes to provide quality educational outcomes and financial viability; effectively implements the Faculty’s learning and teaching policies, research policy and strategy; and ensures implementation of the Framework for the Scholarship of Engagement for Societal Impact and other related institutional policies and frameworks. The Dean further oversees the Faculty’s student enrolment processes to attract and retain students as per UWC’s enrolment targets.

Candidates must have a doctoral degree in Natural Sciences or a relevant professional discipline. They must possess senior academic leadership experience and be appointable, at a minimum, at the level of Associate Professor or its equivalent. A strong track record of publications in recognised journals, learning and teaching, fundraising and stakeholder engagement, research and community engagement and successful postgraduate supervision is critical for this position. Candidates should also have extensive knowledge of the current issues in Higher Education and the Department of Higher Education and Training’s Policy Framework on the Internationalisation of Higher Education in South Africa. To lead the Faculty of Natural Sciences’ research agenda, it will be an added advantage if a candidate qualifies for NRF-rating and is recognised as a researcher of high academic standing.

Key competencies for this role are: Visionary and dynamic leadership and management experience; sound human capital and financial management skills; and excellent interpersonal skills in fostering partnerships and stakeholder relationships at all levels. Commitment to social justice and transformation is demonstrated through staff nurturing and development.

In your application, you are encouraged to highlight your strengths and include anything else you deem exceptional and outstanding to be considered by the selection panel. In addition, please attach a cover letter motivating your suitability, a detailed curriculum vitae and the highest qualification to your online profile.

To be considered for this vacancy, apply directly via UWC Careers at

For any further information related to this application, please contact our Executive Director of Human Resources, Meko Ernest Magida, via email at

Short-listed candidates must make a presentation to the University community and later participate in an interview process by the Senior Appointments Committee of the University Council.

Applications should be submitted online by 25 February 2024.

NB: This is a five-year contract with the possibility of it being extended for a second term. The official retirement age at UWC is 65 years.

DISCLAIMER: By applying for the position, you consent to the University sharing your application, including curriculum vitae, with University stakeholders to process the application. In line with the University’s commitment to diversifying its workforce, preference will be given to suitably qualified applicants in line with our Employment Equity Targets. The University reserves the right to not make an appointment, make an appointment at a different level, seek additional candidates and may conduct competency assessments.