Phike has been a dedicated educator for more than three decades; a principal in the TVET sector; at the helm of several higher learning institutions and chair of a number of professional bodies in the higher education sector. These are just a few examples of his extensive experiences in education. He passionately believes that education is key to addressing the socio-economic ills in the country, such as unemployment and alleviation of poverty.
Phike reported for duty on Wednesday, 1 December 2021. Upon entering the building, he was warmly welcomed with resounding applause by the central office staff, academic heads, and campus managers. As he was walking towards the podium, he reached out to 'elbow greet' familiar faces as he is no stranger to Northlink. He held the campus manager position at Tygerberg campus previously (2007–2009). Phike appeared equally excited to be re-joining the Northlink community. The former acting principal Neil Maggott, then introduced him and handed over to the college council chairperson, Adrian Strydom, to do the official handing over of the keys to the office of the principal of Northlink College.
“Northlink College is excited and poised to receive your guidance and stewardship. As the principal, you will have the support of the college council. The council was drawn to your record of successfully delivering positive results. You were for that reason selected from a pool of candidates of high calibre. Upon analysing your experience, we found you to be a very skilful and a diligent individual, who have excellent vision for the college,” said Strydom.
Phike responded to Strydom saying that he is looking forward to working with Northlink staff, unions, the college council, students and all other stakeholders to ensure that Northlink does 'not settle with doing Good, but will be doing Great'. (Quoting James C. Collins, the American author and researcher who specialises in business management and company sustainability and growth.)
He emphasised the importance of an open-door policy, in dealing with whatever challenges students might face in their quest to acquire their academic goals. This will be done to ensure that the Department of Higher Education and Training’s (DHET) objective of shaping the future of the college’s students is realised, he said. Phike believes that creating a conducive environment where there is trust and continued engagement between student representatives, union representatives and college management is very important.
The Northlink TVET College community wishes Phike success and a long stay at the College.