It is with great sadness that we note the passing of Vanessa Merckel who served on the HELTASA Executive Committee from 2016 to 2019. She was a Lecturer at the University of Johannesburg (UJ), as well as a Senior Coordinator for Professional Academic Staff Development within UJ’s Academic Development Centre.
Vanessa played a significant role in shaping the discourse of higher education through her commitment to social justice and the social inclusion of staff and students. In HELTASA, she held the portfolio of Critical Dialogues Convenor at a time when higher education faced serious challenges from students to transform and decolonise its knowledge and curricula.
Vanessa’s crucial contributions to the higher education sector will not go unseen or forgotten. She will be dearly missed.
She is survived by her husband, two daughters and one son.