Prior to that, she was a technical adviser on Indigenous Knowledge Systems to the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Arts, Culture, Science and Technology (South Africa) and led the Task Team to draft the national policy on Indigenous Knowledge Systems. She was a Distinguished Professional at the Human Sciences Research Council; an Associate Professor at the University of Pretoria; a visiting Professor at Stockholm University (Sweden) where she led the Systems Research Collaboration (Sweden and South Africa), bringing together policy makers and professionals in academia in the two countries.
She was formerly a member of the International Faculty of the United Nations International Leadership Academy (Amman-Jordan); and is a member of the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf), and was a member of the Academy of Science Special Panel on the Future of Humanities (South Africa). She serves as member of the Board of the PASCAL International Observatory (initiated by the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development Countries [OECD]), and was the Scientific Coordinator and Campus Director for the Council for the Development of Social Science in Africa (CODESRIA) Annual Social Science Campus (2006). She is a Fellow of the African Academy of Sciences (AAS) and is the Chair of the African Academy of Science Advisory Council on the Social and Cultural Sciences (2014). In 2013, she was appointed by the Minister of Higher Education (South Africa) as Member of the Task Team on the Ministerial Project on the Future of the Humanities and Social Science.
She has addressed the International Bar Association, the Swedish Research Council, and Academy of Science of South Africa, the British House of Lords, and the Royal Dutch Shell. She was the Goodwill Ambassador for Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda; and Ambassador for Non-Violence at the Durban Universities’ International Centre for Non-Violence. She was given the Presidential Medal of Honour by the President of Uganda on the 9th October 2013, marking Uganda’s Golden Jubilee, for her groundbreaking academic research and leadership. She received the South African National Pioneers Award for her contribution to the development of Indigenous knowledge systems since 1994, given at the Freedom Park in 2014.
In July 2015, she received the Nelson Mandela Distinguished Africanist Award from HE Thabo Mbeki for her pursuit of the total liberation for the African continent through the promotion of Indigenous Knowledge Systems of Education and in the same year, Professor Hoppers was awarded “Woman of the Year” by the University of South Africa, and was named as a “Leading Educationist” and was honoured in the Gallery of Leadership as the 63 most influential people who have shaped Unisa since its inception in 1873, in a permanent exhibition in Kgorong Building in UNISA. In 2017 Professor Hoppers received the distinction from UNESCO as an Honorary Fellow in Lifelong Learning.
She got her Masters (1992) and PhD in International Education from Stockholm University (1998).