A former high school science teacher, Professor Jonathan Jansen was appointed Vice-Chancellor of the University of the Free State (UFS) in 2009 and served in this role until mid-2017 when he took-up a  Professorship at the University of Stellenbosch. Educated at the University of the Western Cape, UNISA and Cornell, he obtained a PhD at Stanford in 1991 and holds Honorary Doctor of Education degrees from the University of Edinburgh and Cleveland State University. Prior to taking-up his current post at UFS, he served as Professor of Education at the University of Durban-Westville and the University of Pretoria.

Jonathan is a well-known public speaker and a prolific writer. His most recent books include Letters to my Children (2012), Great South African Teachers (2011), We Need to Talk (2011) and Knowledge in the Blood (2009). Knowledge received best book awards from the Library Journal USA and the American Educational Research Association. Professor Jansen recently received Education Africa’s “Lifetime Achievement Award” in recognition of “his work towards the transformation of education in South Africa”.

He is a Fellow of the Academy of Science of South Africa, the Academy of Sciences of the Developing World, die Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns and of the American Educational Research Association. In addition, Professor Jansen serves as patron of a number of local NGOs, President of the Council of the South African Institute of Race Relations and on the boards of the Toyota Foundation and AdvTech Group.