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    To give collective voice and opportunity to retired
    South African academics

    wishing to remain

    through temporary assignments to various institutions
    within and on the periphery of higher education

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    A need is identified to assign

    retired academics
    on a service basis

    to higher educational and other similar institutions to ease
    skills shortages while playing an active role in advancing
    transformation through meaningful consulting & mentoring

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    ABBA is a non-profit company

    formed to address
    the short supply of

    experienced academics in teaching and learning;
    research and development; and innovation and
    technology transfer

Welcome To Our Site

ABBA is a Non-profit company formed to address the short supply of experienced academics (teachers, researchers, and innovators) in higher education through the supply of specialist retirees, too young and active to hang-up their gloves.

It was realised that disproportionately more Baby Boomers were exiting academia than ‘X’ &’Y Generation entering, coupled with a government initiative to fast-track young Black candidates to become academics. To achieve any likelihood of success, skilled mentors were needed to fill this ever-growing void of senior talent. ABBA took up the challenge.

We listen to an institution's needs in regard to its mentoring and transformation objectives. To avoid ambiguity, we document that need in great detail for the parties to concur and ‘sign-off’. Using this document as a critical frame of reference and drawing from the ABBA membership, our team of highly skilled talent scouts identify, assess and perform background checks for those exact skills. A decidedly flexible contract is agreed upon, and our specialist member sets out to achieve his or her objectives.

Meet Our Management Board

Dr Jonathan Youngleson

Dr Jonathan Youngleson (CEO)

Founding Director

View Jonathan's Profile
Dr Gary Atkinson-Hope

Prof Gary Atkinson-Hope (Dr)

Founding Director

View Gary's Profile
Jimmy Wayland

Jimmy Wayland (MD)

Founding Director

View Jimmy's Profile

Meet Our Advisory Board

Prof Jonathan Jansen

Prof Jonathan Jansen

Advisory Board Member

View Jonathan's Profile
Prof Dave Woods

Prof Dave Woods

Advisory Board Member

Dave's Profile

FREE membership (valid until 1 September 2017). Signup now to become a ABBA member, where you will receive exclusive information, guidance, support and the potential of temporary assignments.

Become a Member

Keeping the not so old – young! Giving hope and opportunity to a new generation of academics. Transforming tomorrow.

Unleash your institution's potential through ABBA

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How It Works

In April 2014 the Sunday Times reported that 1,430 professors and associate professors from 13 institutions would reach the mandatory retirement age of 65 within the next 10 years. The universities also said they are spending R-millions on initiatives to develop a new generation of academics to replace those that retire, this program assumes that suitable mentors are available to facilitate this initiative. This situation has been described by several leading academic leaders as a ‘crisis’.

The Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) has responded to this crisis by an initiative called New Generation of Academics Programme (“nGAP”), which seeks to recruit highly capable scholars as new academics, against carefully designed and balanced equity considerations and in light of the disciplinary areas of greatest need. It is envisaged to be the biggest programme within the SSAUF (“Staffing South Africa’s Universities” Framework). Commencing January 2016, nGAP covers a six year period for each cohort taken onto the programme, covering a 3-year development plus 3 years induction thereafter. It is hoped that after this 6-year programme, intake members will continue their careers in academic employment at the appointing institution. Approximately 100 nGAP candidates were recruited at the beginning of 2016. A further 200 are likely to be recruited over the next few years.

Whilst the Management Board recognise this objective is important, the capability of ABBA extends well-beyond this, to whenever HEI expertise is needed. This includes research institutions other than HEI of higher education, cross-border assignments and special training and development projects are decided by ABBA and its funders.

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What We Do


A need was identified to provide retired academics on a service basis to the higher education sector to address the critical shortages in trained and experienced academics.



ABBA has an impressive and continually growing membership, created through on-going recruitment drives.



ABBA comprises of an Advisory Board and a Management Board, the latter being supported by a spirited team taking care of marketing the expertise of members in to institutions, while a seperate team ensures accurate record keeping and administration. A well-oiled engine serving both members and institutions in need.


The Future

ABBA came into existence to give worth to retirees too young to stop working, while filling an ever-growing void of specialist skills through deploying Member skills to both higher education and institutions on the periphery of higher education. A road to a better future.


Partner Organisations

ABBA (Registration number: NCP 2016/129156/08) The home of temporary academic expertise – Teaching and learning, Research and development, Innovation and technology transfer.

We need an academic expert I am an academic expert

Get In Touch

Contact Details

Phone: +27 (0)21 795 0172

Fax: +27 (0)86 631 5571

Address: No. 9, Wodehouse Crescent, The Vines, Constantia,
Cape Town 7806

PO Box 53311, Kenilworth, 7745

Michele Hill (Ms.), ABBA Interim Operations Manager

Phone: +27 (0)72 779 6482
Email: micheleh@abbalink.org

Dr Jonathan Youngleson, ABBA CEO

Email: jonathany@abbalink.org
Phone: +27 (0)79 377 4225

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