Decolonisation dilemmas: Challenges for university leadership

LIDC lecture

For May, LIDC will hold a special LIDC Research Seminar. This event will feature a lecture from Dr Max Price, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cape Town (UCT), from 2008 to 2018, followed by drinks. 

About the lecture:

As the leader of a university, how do you balance the demands of a new generation to remove a statue of a controversial imperialist against the calls of many others, including government, alumni and staff not to airbrush history? How might you respond to the covering up of a sculpture of a black woman because it is perceived as reproducing colonial stereotypes?  Dr Max Price was the Vice-Chancellor of UCT during the most significant period of nationwide student protest since the transition to democracy in South Africa 25 years ago. Protests started at UCT in 2015 with the #RhodesMustFall campaign with its primary focus on decolonisation. Balancing support for these demands with competing values, and traditions of multiple stakeholders, and within financial constraints, is the challenge for university leadership. Dr Price will reflect on some of the transformation and decolonisation dilemmas he dealt with at UCT.     

About the speaker:

Max Price took up the post of Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cape Town in July 2008, completing his ten-year term in June 2018. From 1996 to 2006, he was dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of the Witwatersrand. He also consults in public health and higher education. After obtaining his medical degree from the University of the Witwatersrand, Dr Price was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship. He studied philosophy, politics and economics at the University of Oxford. Following clinical work in academic and rural hospitals in SA, he took a Masters degree at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine continuing there as a Research Fellow in Health Economics. He joined the Centre for Health Policy at Wits University in 1988 as a senior researcher, and become its director in 1992. He held a one year Takemi Fellowship at the Harvard School of Public Health in 1994/5.  Dr Price’s research has covered the political economy of health in SA, health economics, rural health services, health systems research and health science education. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Colleges of Medicine of South Africa. During his term as Vice-Chancellor Dr Price was chair for two years of the African Research Universities Alliance (ARUA). He was previously chair of the Worldwide Universities Network.  Dr Price is currently on sabbatical in London. 





The event is free but registration is required. To register, please contact Sarah Hambly at