Nhlanhla Thwala

Dr. Nhlanhla Thwala started his career in 1986 as a high school teacher in his native Eswatini after completing a BA in History and English, and a Diploma in Education.

In 1990, he completed an MA in Linguistics at Syracuse University. In 1994, he completed a PhD in formal Linguistics from the University of California in Los Angeles.

His post-PhD career started in Indiana University, Bloomington where he was a Visiting Scholar and Coordinator of the African Language Program from 1996 to June 1998. He then spent 16 years at Wits University, Johannesburg from June 1998 to May 2014 in various capacities including serving as the founding Head of the School of Literature, Language and Media (2001-2003), Director of the Wits Language School (2007-2014), Researcher at SOAS while on Sabbatical at Wits (2004-2006). In 2014, he left Wits and first joined Advtech (one the largest JSE listed private education companies in South Africa) as Head of the Institute of Independent Education (IIE). He then joined Pearson South Africa as Managing Director of CTI Education Group (a higher education company acquired by Pearson in 2013) from September 2014. In that time, he also served as the Academic Director of Pearson Institute of Higher Education from 2016 until his departure in September 2020 this year.

Nhlanhla’s education professional career spans 34 years. After starting as a Higher School teacher, in June 1996, he returned to the University of Swaziland in January 1997 as a Teaching Assistant in the English Department until June 1988.

During his graduate studies, he worked as a teaching assistant at Syracuse University and UCLA. He also had Summer Teaching roles at Yale University (1993), Boston University (1994), and Ohio State University (1996). In 1998, he started at Wits as Lecturer and rose to Senior Lecturer in 1999 before his appointment as Head of the School of Literature Language and Media in 2001.