CHEC Secretariat

Prof T Eugene Cloete
Prof Eugene Cloete

Chief Executive Officer

Prof Eugene Cloete was appointed as the new CHEC CEO. He took up office on the 1st of September 2022. Microbiologist and water expert Prof Cloete was the Deputy Vice Chancellor: Research, Innovation and postgraduate studies at Stellenbosch University for the past ten years. During his tenure as DvC Stellenbosch University became internationally recognised as a leading research-intensive university. He recently received the Chancellor award from Stellenbosch University for his contribution during his 10 year term.

Before taking up this position in September 2012, Prof Cloete served as the Dean of the Faculty of Science at Stellenbosch University. He has promoted more than 110 MSc and PhD students, authored five books, holds 10 patents and has more than 165 scientific publications to his credit. He also leads Entrepreneurship Development in Higher Education (EDHE) and is a Board member of ASSAf.

Deborah Meyer
Deborah Meyer

CHEC Administrator

Debbie’s duties and responsibilities include but are not limited to the overseeing of all office administrative functions. She handles enquiries and rerouting where necessary, as well as liaison between the CHEC Universities, partners and board.

Sharman Wickham
Sharman Wickham

Consultant: Regional Public Partnerships

Sharman’s main role at CHEC is in facilitating university / government partnerships with the Western Cape Government and the City of Cape Town. This includes drafting annual research calls for dissemination in the universities, overseeing the selection of proposals, monitoring the progress of the research projects, and supporting the researchers in completing these projects.

Sharman has also undertaken the research required in the first phase of CHEC’s Dual Higher Education Project and coordinates the work  of the institutional representatives on the Andrew W Mellon’s project on decolonialisation.

Corrie Postma
Corrie Postma

CHEC Financial Administrator

Corrie handles the finances at CHEC.

Publishing Liaison Office (PLO)

Estian Behrens
Estian Behrens

Manager: Publishing Liaison Office (PLO)
Stakeholder Relations Coordinator: Dual Higher Education Project (DHEP)

Estian currently dons two hats in his capacity at CHEC: first as Manager: Publishing Liaison Office (PLO) and second as Stakeholder Relations Officer on the Dual Higher Education Project (DHEP).

His duties as part of the PLO focus on the oversight of the copyright clearance process in deliberation with various institutional stakeholders, relevant copyright authorities as well as individual rights holders. This also includes negotiation around and consultation on copyright matters, developments and considerations on global scale, especially within higher education.

In his role as Stakeholder Relations Coordinator on the DHEP, Estian’s responsibilities centre around the enhancement of university–industry relations with the aim of establishing a customised dual higher education delivery model in the South African higher education system. This involves strategic partnership development

Lemeez Hendricks
Lemeez Hendricks

Project Coordinator

As the Project Co-ordinator of the Publishing Liaison Office at CHEC, Lemeez facilitates the copyright clearance and adherence of the Copyright Law for all four universities in the Western Cape: University of Cape Town, University of Stellenbosch, University of the Western Cape and the Cape Peninsula University of  Technology. This includes, amongst other things, liaising with academic staff as well as publishers.

Dual Higher Education Project (DHEP)

Dr Antoinette Smith-Tolken
Antoinette Smith-Tolken

Project Director

Dr Antoinette R. Smith-Tolken is the Project Director of the Cape Higher Education Consortium CHEC) Dual Higher Education Project (DHEP). This innovative project is a Collaborative University Capacity Building Programme, funded by the Department of Higher Education and Training. The purpose of the project is to enhance the employability of university graduates through Dual Higher Education. The main features of the project is to research the concept of dual higher education, develop a South African model, build the capacity of both employers and universities to collaborate in order to pilot examples of the model.

Agatha Africa
Agatha Africa

Title: Administrator Assistant / PA to DHEP Project Director

Agatha is the personal assistant to the Project Director and assists with the day-to-day administration of the project.

Regional Leadership and Management Development Programmes

Prof Rene Pellissier
René Pellissier


René is professor of research and innovation and works as strategist, researcher and systems engineer in the international arena based on her extensive international experience across the globe at universities in the United States, the United Kingdom, France and across Africa.  Her expertise lies in the world of future work based on developments in AI, technology advances and the digital transformation. René holds an MSc in Mathematical Statistics, an MBA and a PhD in Systems Engineering.

René’s work at CHEC involves the development of relevant leadership and management capacity programmes for academic and admirative leaders in HE, a CHEC sponsored book on COVID-19 responses in HEIs and the CHEC monthly Critical Conversations focusing on emerging issues in HEIs.

Sisipho Zweni
Sisipho Zweni

HELA administrator

Sisipho is the CLE administrator, dealing with queries, facilitating and monitoring CLE Zoom sessions, and managing and scheduling meetings. Sisipho also hosts the CHEC critical conversations and assists with the publication of the CHEC sponsored COVID responses book.

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