The University of Venda Council has unanimously agreed to extend the employment contract of Dr Bernard Nthambeleni as UNIVEN Vice-Chancellor and Principal. The decision was made during an ordinary meeting held on Friday, 23 June.

Council Chairperson Juneas Lekgetha confirmed that they have renewed Dr Bernard Nthambeleni’s contract for another five years, from January 2024 to December 2028.

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Dr Nthambeleni’s first term at the Limpopo based University was from January 2019 to December 2023. During this period, he has transformed UNIVEN into the best University with significant achievements. He steered massive infrastructure development that has changed the face and landscape of the university. The Chair of Council further said the renewal of the Vice-Chancellor’s contract will ensure that the Strategic Plan 2021-2025 objectives are implemented most effectively.

Under the leadership of Dr Bernard Nthambeleni as the Vice-Chancellor and Principal, the University of Venda has made significant strides. When he commenced his tenure, Dr Nthambeleni made it explicit that he would like to position the University of Venda for impact and relevance.

University of Venda leader Dr Bernard Nthambeleni to continue as UNIVEN Vice-Chancellor
Entrance of the University of Venda

Dr Nthambeleni has done considerably well in terms of accentuation of the University’s visibility which culminated in the promotion of the University’s image and subsequent ranking of the University in the top 15 universities in South Africa by Times Higher Education World Rankings.


“In the past 54 months, Dr Nthambeleni did a sterling job of ensuring the University’s financial sustainability. He steered the University through a period of structural reorganization and ensured rebranding efforts which coincided with the University’s 40th Anniversary celebrations in 2022. The Vice-Chancellor and Principal acted at all times with integrity and with the University’s best interests at heart. Undoubtedly, the University of Venda is far better than it was in 2019,” the university said in a statement. 

“The University Community looks forward to Dr Nthambeleni’s focused leadership as he takes the University to higher heights.”

Dr Nthambeleni says he is humbled by the confidence shown by the University Council in his leadership. He says he looks forward to continuing to lead the University to be a world-class comprehensive institution of higher learning.