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IMM Graduate School announces first Lifetime Achiever Award to Professor Zak Nel

South Africa, Johannesburg, 6 May 2019: The IMM Graduate School is pleased to announce the the recipient of the first Lifetime achievement Award, presented at the recent Class of 2018 Graduation Ceremony in Johannesburg on Thursday, 28 March 2019, to Prof Zak Nel.

Established in 1948, the well-renowned and reputable provider of higher education has provided industry endorsed, distance learning professional qualifications for more than 30 years and enjoys a solid history of assessing, delivering and conferring degrees, diplomas and certificates of the highest academic integrity. Specialising in marketing, supply chain management and business; the institution has graduated more than 25,000 proud students, of which many hold key positions globally.

During March and April this year, the IMM Graduate School hosted its Annual Graduation Ceremonies, capping 984 students in the regions of Zimbabwe, KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng and the Western Cape. The class of 2018 saw a record number of qualifications conferred: 2 MPhil Master’s, 111 BPhil Honours, 117 Postgraduate diplomas, 487 degrees, 128 diplomas and 139 certificates.

The IMM Graduate School also recognizes and acknowledges exceptional people who serves the IMM Graduate School, and has – for the first time –  bestowed upon Prof Zak Nel this prestigious accolade, for his life devoted to education and the significant difference he has made in the lives of so many scholars, students and academics.  He has made a difference and continues to make a difference to registered students at universities, to people (both young & old) seeking guidance with their studies and the possible careers they could pursue, to people being supervised towards the completion of postgraduate qualifications, to institutions on whose boards or management structures he serves.

Prof Nel is an Academic Board Member, a member of the executive management team, an advisor and guide in formal and informal matters in academic issues and the management of these, and a reliable and much loved friend of the institution since 2006.

Professor Zak Nel started his career in education as a teacher in Natal and then moved into the higher education field spending most of his formal academic tenure at the University of Johannesburg.  He made a significant contribution at the University and served in various senior academic and management positions during his time there, including Professor: Counselling Psychology, Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology and Deputy Director of the Buro for Student Counselling. He was a beloved “koshuisvader” of Kruinsig Women’s residence for many years – his concern for the wellbeing of students being self-evident.

During his time as a full-time academic, Professor Nel presented several papers at national and international conferences in South Africa and abroad.  He supervised numerous students towards the completion of their Master’s dissertations and others to complete their D. Litt et Phil thesis submissions.

So much of the new, unfolding Higher education landscape in South Africa, as we see its evolution today, has elements of Professor Nel’s work and knowledge embedded in it.  He serves on the boards of several academic institutions and has the Academic dean function with some.  He’s the board member of executive board member for organisations like The Association of Private Providers of Education, The higher education Committee, The South African Association of Counselling Psychology.

In his ongoing commitment to be a force for good in the field of education, Professor Nel has, since he retired from the University of Johannesburg, tested and counselled thousands of school levers every year to help them towards certainty about their academic future and their chosen higher education options.  He does this in the way of someone who is committed to the idea that everyone should be given an opportunity to achieve the top of their potential and be aware of the best alternatives and institutions available to help them do so.  He takes a personal interest in every person he counsels and it is not surprising that parents fly their children in to see him from places like Zambia, Namibia, Botswana and other neighbouring countries.

In spite of being so extremely busy all the time, Professor Nel is still making time to actively support the IMM Graduate School, to play a role in its management as an Academic Board Member.

Commenting on presenting the first Lifetime Achievement Award to Prof Nel, CEO of the IMM Graduate School, Mr Dalein van Zyl said, “We are immensely grateful for what Prof Zak has done and meant to the IMM Graduate School – the advice, guidance and for the friendship. Professor Nel’s life is a living example of an academic leader serving the people of his country and being a devout husband, father and grandfather.