Acting Chairperson’s Message
In the year under review the Council bid farewell to its Chairperson, Professor Chabani Manganyi, whose term of office came to an end in December 2012. Professor Manganyi served the Council with distinction since 2009 and his guidance and wisdom and the breadth and depth of his experience as a leader in education, both at the institutional and national level, will be sorely missed. As will his steady hand, which ensured that despite a period of organisational uncertainty and instability resulting from a management lacuna between 2009/10, the Council continued to discharge its mandate without disruption. On behalf of Council I would like to acknowledge and thank Professor Manganyi for his contribution and wish him all the best in retirement.
I would also like to convey our condolences to the family and colleagues of Prof Edmund Zingu, who was coopted onto Council in October 2012, specifically because of his experience and understanding of the role of the Universities of Technology. His untimely death in April 2013 has robbed the country and higher education of a committed and experienced educator.
The Council, Audit and Risk Committee and management, worked tirelessly in the past two years on addressing the shortcomings in administrative and governance systems, including compliance procedures. This entailed ensuring the successful implementation of and bringing to a close the action plan linked to the recommendations flowing from the internal and external audit findings that was developed in the 2009/10 financial year. This is reflected in the fact that not only has the Council once again received an unqualified audit, but the findings in the management letter are limited and largely of a housekeeping nature.
The strengthening of administrative and governance systems will enable the Council in future to focus on discharging its core functions and mandate. The latter, as reported elsewhere, has already begun and is progressing well. A full complement of senior staff is in place, which has enabled the Council to develop and finalise a range of planned projects across the mandate areas of the CHE for implementation in 2013/14. The Council has also made steady progress in giving effect to its new mandate as the Quality Council for Higher Education – the revised Higher Education Qualifications Sub-framework (HEQSF) was approved by the Minister in December 2012 and the Council approved the Framework for the Development of Qualifications Standards in Higher Education in March 2013.
The Council is also working in close collaboration with the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) and the other Quality Councils (QCs) in addressing a range of priorities identified by the Minister of Higher Education and Training relating to articulation pathways, including the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) and Credit Accumulation and Transfer (CAT).
The Council looks forward to engaging with the much anticipated White Paper on Post-School Education and Training going forward. The Council’s Higher Education Quality Committee (HEQC) is working with the Department of Higher Education and Training to ensure the successful establishment of the two new universities in Mpumalanga and the Northern Cape.
In conclusion I would like to thank my colleagues on the Council and its standing committees, including the HEQC and its sub-committees, and the staff of the CHE, for their continued commitment, dedication and hard work.
Dr Letticia Moja
Council on Higher Education