Noel Daniels

Chief Executive Officer

Noel Daniels holds an M.A. in Education Administration and Management from the University of California, Berkeley. He is an active life-long learner, an accredited Assessor, and has completed a coaching course with CRR Global. Currently, he is conducting a longitudinal ethnographic study focused on Adult Learning and Poverty for his PhD thesis. He has worked in all levels of the education and training system and also in all sectors – business, NGO and government.

For the past twelve years, Noel has been a co-owner and the Managing Director of The Fundamentals Training Centre (FTC) which now is a social enterprise within Cornerstone Institute. Noel has a track record of active engagement in a number of leadership and management initiatives. This includes lecturing on the University of Cape Town’s Bachelor of Education (Honours) Educational Leadership and Management course and the Advanced Certificate in Education: Education Management Leadership Development programme for which he has provided project management, planning, lecturing, coaching and mentoring, assessment and moderation services. He is passionate about community development and was fully engaged in FTC’s own Higher Education and Training Certificate (HETC) in Development Practice, aimed at community-based leaders, especially youth and women. He has developed a Youth Development Facilitators training programme for UNICEF, entitled Pathways to Possibilities, which is currently being implemented by the National Association of Child and Youth Care Workers (NACCW).
Under his leadership, FTC was appointed as the South African representative of the International Youth Foundation (IYF) Passport to Success programme and he facilitated FTC’s partnership with the British Council’s Connecting Classrooms programme. Noel is the recipient of the United Nations-sponsored Karmaveer Award for his contribution to leadership development which he collected in New Delhi, India in November 2013. Noel contributed to the Indian best-seller, Karma Kurry by writing a chapter on Kumi Naidoo, the ex-Director of Greenpeace International. Currently, Noel serves on the boards of two non-profit organisations.
He is a Trustee of Inyathelo: The South African Institute for Advancement who works to build a vibrant democracy in South Africa by strengthening civil society organisations and higher education institutions and developing a strong philanthropic movement. He is also Inyathelo’s treasurer and serves as an adjudicator for South Africa’s premier philanthropic awards which are convened by Inyathelo. As the chairperson of Darkroom Contemporary, a physical dance theatre company which focuses on accessible physical theatre, dance film and community outreach, Noel actively supports its quest to use arts and culture to address social challenges.
Previously Noel served as chairperson of African Development Options, an organisation which focused on poverty alleviation and employment creation. In this capacity and as the Training Director, he was instrumental in the creation of Duinepos Chalets – a flagship model for poverty alleviation in South Africa. For the period 2012-2014 Noel was the chairperson of the Cape Chamber of Commerce’s Human Resource Portfolio Committee.
Previously he served as chairperson of the Chamber’s Athlone and Cape Flats Branch and he also served as an elected member of the Chamber’s Cape Town Chapter committee. He represented the Chamber on the Premier’s Council of Skills. Noel has served as Cornerstone Institute’s CEO since September 2015 and takes responsibility for driving Cornerstone’s vision, mission, its 10–year Strategic Plan and is currently leading and managing the organisation’s marketing and recruitment portfolio. As the proud father of a teenager, Noel is particularly concerned about how we actively realise and build meaningful legacies today, to ensure a sustainable and brighter future for tomorrow’s generations.

Caroline De Wet (BTh Hons)


Caroline studied at Cornerstone (then known as the Cape Evangelical Bible Institute) in the late 1980s and became assistant to the Dean in 1992.

She now oversees all statutory issues pertaining to a higher education institution, dealing with the Council on Higher Education (CHE), the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) and the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA).


Rudi Buys 

Dean of Humanities Deans department

Rudi joined Cornerstone Institute in 2017 as Dean of Humanities. He also chairs the Senate and its executive and academic planning committees, leads the faculty management committee and is responsible for faculty oversight of all undergraduate and graduate degree, diploma and certificate programmes.

Rudi’s earlier professional roles include appointments as a youth pastor of the Dutch Reformed Church, spokesman for the Western Cape Education Ministry and as Commissioner tasked with Education and Arts and Culture of the Provincial Youth Commission.

From 2007 he served as founding CEO of the iGubu Leadership Agency, which focused on racial reconciliation and co-curricular campus transformation at several South African universities.

He joined the University of the Free State (UFS) as Dean of Student Affairs in 2010. His tenure at the UFS also focused on reconciliation and transformation, which themes he also addressed in his doctoral research initiated during this time.

In 2015 he continued his doctoral research as faculty research associate and joined the Paulo Freire Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) as visiting scholar, hosted by Prof. Carlos Torres, and with a NRF-Scholarship.

His doctorate, supervised by Prof. Jonathan Jansen and awarded in 2017, A Phenomenological reading of the racial knowledge and identities of student leaders engaged in reconciliation, reveals an approach to leading change as it emerged in the analysis of the lived experiences of four student leaders who participated in reconciliation initiatives following a horrific incident of racial discrimination at the UFS (the Reitz incident of 2008). The study refines and combines the notions of `in-betweenness’ (as an identity framework), of `transitionality’ (as a type of knowledge), and of `building bridges’ (as a leadership practice) as a `theory of bridgebuilding’ – an original perspective on change leadership in higher education. The study drew on the work of Paulo Freire, Homi Bhabha and Rene Girard, among others.

Rudi recently published his first book dealing with higher education change with Penguin Random House. The Afrikaans (Kaapse) title, ‘Brugbouers, Die Reitz-video en die pad na versoening’ [Bridgebuilders, The Reitz-video and the road to reconciliation] applies his theory of bridgebuilding to current understandings if reconciliation and transformation on university campuses.

Rudi loves downhill mountain biking, debating movies and a meaty braai in the veld.


Beverley Dankers

Director of Student Services 

Beverley has lived, worked and volunteered in the USA and Swaziland. She has been involved in tertiary institutions in various capacities for the past ten 10 years. Her own educational journey started with Cornerstone in 2009. She graduated with a BTh in Community Development at Cornerstone Institute in 2010, completed a BSocSc Honours degree in Development Studies at the University of Cape Town in 2012, and in 2016, completed a MEd in Curriculum and Instruction through Concordia University. At the African Christian College (NPO) in Swaziland Beverley taught women, youth and children while managing the college cafeteria.

She also worked as the administrator for The Luke Commission in Swaziland (NPO) where she served in the capacity as the administrator managing the office and providing leadership to the staff. Prior to joining the Student Services Department at Cornerstone Institute, she worked at UWC in the alumni relations office. Beverley has a son who is a civil engineer residing in Secunda, and a daughter and son-in-law who are both graphic designers. Her granddaughters are her pride and joy.



Eugene Brandt