Proserpina Dhlamini-Fisher to join UWC International as Director of Education
We are happy to announce the appointment of Proserpina Dhlamini-Fisher as Director of Education at UWC International. A Swazi national and a UWC alumna who graduated from Waterford Kamhlaba UWC of Southern Africa in 1983, Proserpina will officially join the London office in August 2017 from the United Nations International School in New York.
As Director of Education, Proserpina will work closely with the UWC Heads Committee and Education Committee, as well as the individual Heads of schools and colleges, to help develop, advocate for and promote high quality education and educational practices across all UWCs, based on the UWC mission, values and UWC educational model. In her new role, she will also ensure that new school and college proposals meet UWC’s educational criteria and organise professional development programs for educational and senior leadership staff from all UWC schools and colleges.
"The institution of a Director of Education at UWC International is a very exciting development for UWC”, said Jens Waltermann, UWC International Executive Director. “I am very happy that someone with the personal UWC experience and credentials of Proserpina has agreed to take this role and to work with Heads and staff from across the UWC schools and colleges into further refining the UWC education experience".
Commenting on what made her apply to this role at UWC International, Proserpina said: “Education is my life and I know that, with it, significant and relevant changes always occur in society. The job description shouted my name as it synthesised what I had been doing in all my professional career; it basically put it all in a gift box with my name on it! The fact that it was UWC was the cherry on top! I am looking forward to being part of the team that will be putting UWC out on the world educational map and exploring stronger partnerships with like minded educational bodies. I am also keen to celebrate what the different schools and colleges are engaged in as UWCs and to contribute towards their further growth and accessibility”.
Proserpina holds a BA in Social Science from the University of Swaziland and a BA in French Linguistics and Phonetics with a minor in Education from La Sorbonne, Paris V in Paris, as well as a MA in International Education from the College of New Jersey in Johannesburg. She has an International Teacher Certification and completed several courses with the Principal Training Centre. Currently, she is completing a MBA in Organizational Behaviour at the University of Edinburgh, Business School - Heriot-Watt University. She started her educational career as a French and English teacher and government French examiner in Swaziland before working as teacher and in management positions at the American International School of Johannesburg. In 2004, she joined the International Baccalaureate (IB) organisation in Geneva as Regional Manager for the IB Diploma Programme for Africa, Europe and the Middle East. Since 2015, Proserpina is Assistant Principal at the United Nations International School in New York from where she will join UWC International.
Proserpina is also a workshop leader, school visitor and has led teams in school accreditation and evaluation across the world. She strongly believes that education continues to empower all societies, and when implemented in a holistic and relevant way, young people become the selfless and thoughtful leaders we want them to be. She speaks Siswati, Zulu, English, French and some Spanish.
“The strength of the mission and values of UWC have become more important and relevant today in our fractured world”, she added. “I have always followed UWC from wherever I was and wanted to contribute to its development, but could not see how. I am thrilled that now I will be able to give back to the institution that contributed to who I am! In my eyes, the core of the UWC Movement is both student and adult empowerment and action and I continue to see this today. The Zulu proverb - ‘Umuntu ngabantu’ resonates strongly in me - ‘A person is a person because of people’. I am glad to be back with UWC people!”.
Her own personal UWC education at Waterford Kamhlaba UWC of Southern Africa had a strong impact on Proserpina’s career choices and, more in general, on her life. “Waterford Kamhlaba UWC was a kingdom within a kingdom. Amazing things were taking place everyday as we were taught all our academic subjects and about the world around us. Student advocacy was strong then and continues to be today. The drive to make a difference beyond community service propelled us to want to be up to date with current affairs. I would say it made me confident as a person, and more aware of the dynamics of the world around me. Being in a school with students from all over the world, enabled me to appreciate others and their cultures and what was happening. When I was at school, apartheid was rife, and being in Swaziland, it was important to be aware of it, discuss it at school, home and with friends everywhere when possible, and reflect on the political and social implications of it. My UWC education made be a proud citizen of the world and not just my country!”.
Join us in welcoming Proserpina to UWC International and wishing her all the best for her important tasks ahead.