The Gatekeepers: Registrars representing all SA universities attended the Imbizo on 9 and 10 March. As leaders, registrars should be seen as the engines and gatekeepers of their respective institutions said Professor Moutlana in her welcome address.
Azande Ralephenya and Puleng Maphisa
Last year proved a challenging year for all institutions of higher education. The #FeesMustFall movement swept across the country and affected the course of teaching and learning everywhere.
There is a glimmer of hope for the 2017 academic year, however, as institutions seem well prepared. These sentiments were echoed at the 14th Registrars’ Imbizo which was hosted by VUT at the Riverside Sun Hotel in Vanderbijlpark.
The focal point of discussion this year were the upheavals in 2016, NSFAS and the challenges faced with language policies. Ms Nita Lawton-Misra, Registrar at the University of Western Cape, led the discussion by sharing a case study of their experiences of the student protests. Showing a refreshing and positive perspective, her presentation focused on risk management and business continuity at the university and provided solutions and examples on how universities can better prepare themselves for any risk.
Acting Executive Officer of NSFAS, Mr Lerato Nage, shared an update on the status of student funding for 2017. Funding has increased to R10.6bn this year, from the R9.2bn set aside in 2016. He said this represented a growth in the number of students that could be funded.
NSFAS received 252 513 online applications, but is still waiting for some universities to submit the registration information for funded students.
The Registrars’ Imbizo sees registrars from all universities in South Africa come together for broader engagement on the state of higher education in the country. Furthermore, it provides the perfect platform for sharing experiences and terms of reference through presentations and networking.