NWU experts share


and quotable quotes

It pays to share words of wisdom in the media, and the NWU’s top spokespersons can attest to that. The university held its annual Spokespersons of the Year awards for the 2016 period on Thursday, 27 July 2017.

Hover on the photographs to read more.


Jo van Eeden, an alumna of the NWU and editor and publisher of Netwerk24, was the special speaker at this year’s awards ceremony.



Prof Raymond Parsons of the NWU’s School of Business and Governance was quoted the most in the media in 2016. This is his second consecutive win.




An award of appreciation was posthumously given to Prof Andre Mellet for the contributions he made over many years to the media profile of the NWU.


Here Annatjie Mellet receives the award of appreciation on behalf of her late husband from Suzaan Paxton of Radio Sonder Grense. Suzaan gave a stirring tribute to Andre during the awards ceremony.


The NWU’s top spokespersons for 2016 are Dr David Spies (Incentive Award), Theo Venter (second runner-up for the overall award), Prof André Duvenhage (runner-up for the overall award), Prof Abel Pienaar (New Voice of the NWU), Prof Raymond Parsons (winner of the overall award and Most Quoted in Print and Online Media, as well as Most Quoted in Broadcast Media Award), Prof Melville Saayman (Creating a Spike in Media Coverage), Prof Eva Manyedi (Incentive Award) and Prof Danie Meyer (Incentive Award).

Academics from various faculties were acknowledged for their positive contribution to the media landscape, enhancing the brand of the institution.


For the second year in a row, Prof Raymond Parsons of the NWU’s School of Business and Governance took top honours as the individual who was quoted the most.


Raymond was mentioned in the media 465 times during 2016 and received a floating trophy, in addition to prize money, for his expert contributions.


“I am very thankful for the recognition. As with all forms of recognition, there is always a team inside and outside the university who make these things possible and I am very grateful to them.”


Intellectuals should be promoted


He highlighted the importance of mobilising the intellectual capital of the university outside its boundaries, and particularly in the media and on other external platforms.


“The public intellectual role is tremendously important for a country and institutions that are able to promote it,” Raymond says.


“All public intellectuals have to be academics but not all academics are public intellectuals. Only a minority of academics wish to add the role of public intellectual. Our task has to be to incentivise and promote that minority and ensure that they play an effective role and get on the platforms where they can share their intellectual capital and their ideas.”


The first runner-up in this category was Prof André Duvenhage of the Faculty of Humanities, followed by Theo Venter of the NWU’s School of Business and Governance. Both André and Theo are past recipients of the award.


Our experts are frequently quoted


The NWU is proud of the outstanding quality of its experts, whose expertise is also valued by the media. This is evident in the thousands of mentions, interviews and quotes regularly attributed to NWU staff in newspapers, online media and on radio and television. In 2016 a total of 2 419 media items were published in which NWU experts were quoted or interviewed.


The Spokespersons of the Year event is not only for top achievers, but also recognises those who are beginning to become household names, as well as staff entering the media space.



Click on the names below to read more about the category winners.