Saleem Badat holds Bachelors and Honours degrees in Social Sciences from the University of Natal, a certificate in Higher Education and Science Policy from Boston University (USA) and the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Sociology from the University of York (UK).
In 1999 he became the first CEO of the Council on Higher Education, which advises the South African Minister of Education on higher education policy issues, and is also responsible for quality assurance, and in 2006 he was appointed Vice-Chancellor of Rhodes University.
He is recipient of numerous academic awards and prizes, including the Hubert Humphrey Fellowship, the Association of Commonwealth Universities scholarship and British Council scholarships. He has also been awarded honorary doctorates by the universities of Free State and York. He is the author of Black Student Politics, Higher Education and Apartheid (Routledge, 2002) co-author of National Policy and a Regional Response in South African Higher Education (James Currey, 2004) and co-editor of Apartheid Education and Popular Struggles in South Africa (Ravan Press, 1990). He has contributed chapters and articles to various books, scholarly journals, magazines and newspapers, and has also directed and authored numerous policy reports on South African higher education and science policy.
Currently, he is Chairperson of the Association of African Universities Scientific Committee on Higher Education Research; serves on the executive committee of Higher Education South Africa (HESA); is the Chairperson of HESA’s Funding Strategy Group; serves on the Development Bank of Southern Africa’s education “think-tank”; and is a trustee of the Harold Wolpe Memorial Trust, a body committed to fostering critical intellectual engagement between government, state, civil society and intellectuals and scholars.