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UJ’s young HOD

AUCKLAND PARK – The 25 year old HOD previously served in a number of roles, including most recently as the Research Director in the UJ Centre for Africa-China Studies.


The Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) will now be headed by 25-year-old political scientist Dr Bhaso Ndzendze.

As of 1 June, Ndzendze was appointed as the new head of department, making him one of the youngest political science heads in the country.

UJ vice-chancellor and principal, Professor Tshilidzi Marwala hoped that Ndzendze’s meteoric rise as an academic and researcher would inspire other young students to achieve more. Marwala said, “We have in recent years watched in awe as Ndzendze swiftly moved up the university’s ranks through hard work and dedication. He has firmly established himself as a brilliant researcher and educator.” He described Ndzendze as a deft academic and a wise and generous colleague who believed in collaborative work.

Ndzendze said, “I believe that one is only as good as their last achievements. I see this new role as an opportunity to mentor more scholars who can, through impactful research and academic work, contribute towards efforts to solve the problems in our country and on the African continent, and even other parts of the world.”

Ndzendze, who is also a senior lecturer in the department, is renowned for his pioneering work on the convergence of global trade, international politics and technologies. He has written an array of articles for leading journals and is a recipient of numerous awards and recognitions, including being among the finalists for the Mail & Guardian Young 200 in 2019.

Ndzendze previously served in a number of roles, including most recently as the research director at the UJ Centre for Africa-China Studies. He also oversaw courses on technology dynamics in international relations, international law in international relations, political history, and Africa-China relations. He has authored and co-authored three books on artificial intelligence, Brics and Africa-China relations.

Born and raised in Umtata in Eastern Cape, Ndzendze completed his Ph.D. in International Relations at the University of the Witwatersrand in 2020. His research and supervision areas include global trade, democracy, international conflicts, and technology. He credits the many students and colleagues he has worked closely with for his success, especially his predecessor in the department, Professor Suzy Graham.

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