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Professor of Education, Postgraduate School, University of Johannesburg

Professor Shireen Motala is the Senior Director of the Postgraduate School within the Research and Innovation Division, University of Johannesburg. She is part of the Executive Leadership Group at the UJ.

Prior to joining UJ in 2010, Professor Shireen Motala, was the Director of the Education Policy Unit at the University of the Witwatersrand. Her academic qualifications include: a BA (University of Durban-Westville), a B Social Science Honours (University of Cape Town), an MA (University of Warwick), a PGCE (University of London) and a PhD (University of the Witwatersrand) She is currently UJ’s representative on the international body, the Council Graduate Schools and participates in the Universitas 21 activities.

She has held numerous leadership roles related to Higher Education including: Chairperson of the Education Policy Consortium (2006-2010), Chairperson of the UNESCO South African Commission (2001-2006), and first inaugural president of the South African Research Association (SAERA) (2013-2014).She continues to be an executive member of SAERA. In 2010 she was appointed by the Minster of Higher Education and Training to serve on the Council of Higher Education (CHE) and re-appointed in 2015 to the Council and to the Executive Committee of the CHE. In 2013, she served on the Ministerial Committee to review the national Senior Certificate examination, focussing specifically on promotion requirements. She is currently a trustee on the Boards of the Centre for Education Development, and the South African Institute for Distance Education.

An NRF (National Research Foundation) rated researcher, she has initiated collaborations between universities across Africa and with Asia and Europe, and this has led to the formation of long-term regional and international partnerships. Her research record is substantial and includes publications in journals and books and editorship of local and international journals. Her research interests and expertise have been in the areas of education financing and school reform, access and equity, education quality and the internationalisation of higher education .


  • –present
    Professor Education Postgraduate studies , University of Johannesburg


  • 2007 
    Wits university , Phd

Grants and Contracts

  • 2018
    Professor of Education, Postgraduate School
    Funding Source:
    National Research Foundation