Professor Elelwani Ramugondo

Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Transformation, Student Affairs and Social Responsiveness

Professor Elelwani Ramugondo is the Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Transformation, Student Affairs and Social Responsiveness at the University of Cape Town (UCT). She was previously deputy dean for Postgraduate Education in the Faculty of Health Sciences and chair of UCT’s Academic Freedom Committee. From June 2009 to December 2013, she was the head of Occupational Therapy.

She served as an occupational therapist in rural South Africa (SA) and the United States of America (USA), and established the first Occupational Therapy Department at Tshilidzini Special School, Limpopo Province, SA. In 1998 she returned to UCT as an academic.

A founding member of UCT’s Black Academic Caucus, she was appointed special advisor on transformation to the vice-chancellor during the call to decolonise the university by the student-led #RhodesMustFall movement. She was instrumental in crafting the UCT Curriculum Change Framework, which is centred on decoloniality. She currently co-convenes UCT’s Decolonial Summer School.

In 2023, she was awarded the Ruth Zemke Lectureship in Occupational Science by the Society for the Study of Occupation: USA. She holds an honorary professorship at Stirling University, United Kingdom. She has recently been named one of 12 Remarkable African Life Scientists in a book authored by Dr Tabitha Wanja Mwangi and published by Jacana for the Kenya Medical Research Institute Wellcome Trust Research Programme.