Sefako Makgatho Vice Chancellor



Sefako Makgatho Vice Chancellor, the Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University (SMU) is pleased to announce the appointment of Prof Chris de Beer as its first Vice-Chancellor with effect from 1 July 2017. Prof De Beer was the Interim Vice-Chancellor of the SMU since 1 July 2015.
The appointment of Prof De Beer results from a rigorous and competitive process of recruitment and selection.



Announcing the appointment of Prof De Beer, the Chairperson of the University Council, Justice Mavundla, said that the SMU is fortunate to be able to appoint a candidate in this position with the knowledge and unique experience of Prof De Beer in higher education management, and with the vision to stabilise and develop the core functions of the SMU with a view to enhancing the quality and relevance of the academic enterprise. The SMU Council is confident that through Prof De Beer’s continued contribution the University will be well positioned to respond to its special responsibility and focus to produce highly qualified health personnel with competencies similar to those who have highly effective health care systems in the world, and to ensure that the SMU over time will become the benchmark institution providing holistic health sciences education that meets the health needs of the individual, the family, the community and the population. Justice Mavundla called upon all stakeholders to support Prof De Beer and his Management Team in the SMU’s quest to deliver on its mandate in the interest of our country.



Prof Chris de Beer hails from the District Mahikeng and matriculated from Hoërskool Lichtenburg.

He holds the following tertiary qualifications: BJur et Art (PU for CHE) (NWU), LLB (Cum laude) (PU for CHE) (NWU), LLM (RAU) (UJ), LLM (UWC), Drs Juris (Leiden, Netherlands), LLD (Leiden, Netherlands)



Prof de Beer has also been admitted as an Advocate of the High Court of South Africa.

After completing his LLB, he accepted a full-time appointment as lecturer in the Faculty of Law at the Potchefstroom University, where he was subsequently promoted to Senior Lecturer and Professor. During this time Prof de Beer published a number of articles in peer reviewed and accredited journals and contributed to legal publications and research reports on negotiable instruments, the legal position of slaves and access to early legal jurisprudence at the Cape.

Since becoming involved in tertiary education, Prof de Beer held the following management positions:
At the Potchefstroom University:
Head of Department (Department of Mercantile Law), Deputy Dean (Faculty of Law) and Dean (Faculty of Law)
At the University of Pretoria:
Registrar, Vice-Principal and Senior Vice-Principal
At SMU:
Interim Vice-Chancellor

Prof De Beer hold/held a number of Ministerial appointments such as: Administrator to the University of Zululand, member of the Interim Council of the newly established University of Mpumalanga and later as a Ministerial appointee on the full Council, Administrator/Compliance Officer of the NIHE (Mpumalanga) and the NIHE (Northern Cape), respectively, with the mandate to disestablish the said NIHE’s, and member of the Council for Higher Education.

Prof de Beer also assisted the Department of Higher Education and Training with a project aiming at the revision of the Higher Education Act, 1997, as amended. The Higher Education Amendment Bill, which was passed by the Parliament on 24 May 2016, resulted from this initiative.



Prof de Beer’s career in tertiary education spans a period of 46 years, with 24 years in Senior Management at various institutions.

During his term of office, Prof de Beer has served on numerous committees and task groups of HESA and its predecessors, among others on the Legal and Human Resources Committees.

He is a member of the SA Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns and of ASSAf and has a keen interest in sport and has made an impact as sport manager and administrator.

A warm welcome message by the Vice-Chancellor

Prof Chris de Beer: SMU Vice-Chancellor

Compliments of the new season, Colleagues, and a warm welcome to you at the beginning of the new academic year.

SMU’s rise to prominence in the fourth year of its existence was the result of many factors: the contribution of dedicated staff, the enthusiasm and inventiveness of graduate and undergraduate students, and the active support and engagement of our government and partners from all walks of life. Just as importantly, the Management and the Council, as well as the academic and administrative staff, have all played a huge role in ensuring that the Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University remains the fountain of knowledge it is today. Here at SMU, we want to inspire both our students and staff to reach their full potential, to advance knowledge, and to make a positive contribution to the world. I am confident that, together, we will achieve our vision.

In line with SMU’s approved student enrolment plan, I am pleased to say that the registration process is underway and that the University will do its best to accommodate all qualifying students. The registration of returning students commenced on 4 January 2018 and the process was completed successfully. First-time entering students started arriving on 22 January 2018 and colleagues from the Schools and various Support Departments are working hard to ensure that those who qualified are successfully registered.

We are all aware of the announcement by the government regarding free higher education, and the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET), NSFAS and USAf have been supportive in guiding and providing information to institutions on how to assist qualifying students. All information and circulars in the above regard have been distributed to relevant University officials and the SMU community at large. Kindly familiarize yourself with the content and the concomitant protocols. However, government still needs to engage with various stakeholders to facilitate the impact and full implementation of free higher education for qualifying students.

SMU does not exist in a vacuum – it exists within a particular social, economic, cultural, political and historical context, and it forms an integral part of the community in which it is located. In this regard, SMU’s third core purpose is to discharge its critical social responsibility through community engagement. Let us hold hands and work together to empower our communities.

Thank you for everything you do to make Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University such a thriving institution.Search for: