Change is an important and necessary constant; it allows organisations to re-imagine themselves from time to time in the context of shifting environments, and Universities South Africa (USAf) is no exception. These were the opening words of the outgoing Chief Executive Officer, Professor Ahmed Bawa, at his last formal interaction with USAf’s Board of Directors at a special meeting convened to bid him goodbye on 9 September.

Ahead of hanging up his hat on 30 September, Professor Bawa acknowledged the “absolute privilege” it had been for him to work in the CEO position, engineering with the Department of Higher Education and Training — among key stakeholders, the state and future of Higher Education. “I have enjoyed my time here,” is how he summed up the past six and a half years at the helm.