Vice Chancellor's 2011 Academic Opening Address

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Another new year in our life cycle has dawned and the University of Fort Hare is proud to open this year celebrating its 95th anniversary. What a remarkable history it has been for this iconic institution. From its inception the University of Fort Hare has transformed lives and the mantra "In Thine Light We See Light" (in lumine tuo videbimus lumen) it has given light and hope to thousands of students who have passed through its walls and gates. As we start this particular year it is our cherished wish that this University will keep on making its contribution to the educational and developmental needs of not only South Africans but international members of society. "HAPPY BIRTHDAY NOKHOLEJI"

We start this year in a context of global and continental historical significance. The people of Tunisia have deposed their leader, the people of Egypt are up in arms against the Mubarak regime, Gbagbo still holds onto power in the Ivory Coast, albeit tenuously, another round of elections is expected to be announced in Zimbabwe, Sudan is about to be divided with a new country to be born in Africa, the King of Jordan has appointed a new prime minister in an attempt to preempt the democratization wave that is sweeping through the Middle East and North Africa. What is happening in the Arab states seems to mirror what happened in Iran in the late 1970s with the Shah and Ayatollah. Obviously various nations have decided that oppressive anti-democratic regimes are not acceptable and should not be tolerated. History and political science students have to analyse these situations further and show us the significance of such events.

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