Our Strategy Groups, made up of experts from the university system (and also from Universities South Africa’s partners in the broader higher education and related sectors) play a vital role in the development and implementation of strategies within their respective areas of focus. Universities South Africa has four strategy groups. A fifth group reflected here is the former HIV & Aids Strategy Group which has evolved to become an advisory board, in line with structural changes taking place within the organisation.

The responsibilities of the Strategy Groups are to:

  • Present regular reports to the Board for discussion and adoption;
  • Conceptualise specific projects on behalf of the Board;
  • Support the EXCO with advocacy and related work, particularly on issues relating to their specific portfolios; and
  • Deal with any other matter referred by the Board or EXCO (including to commission studies around agreed priority issues to inform strategic discussions and decisions).

Universities South Africa’s Strategy Groups meet three times a year, prior to Board meetings – depending on their scope of work.

Funding Strategy Group (FSG)

The Funding Strategy Group provides strategic direction to the Board and EXCO on strategic university funding matters, and engages with policy matters in this regard. It also advises the Board on projects to be undertaken by Universities South Africa and implementation strategies related to Higher Education funding.

Members (2017):

  • Dr Max Price (Group Chairperson, and Vice-Chancellor, University of Cape Town)
  • Prof Albert Van Jaarsveld – University of KwaZulu-Natal
  • Ms Elmarie de Beer – North-West University
  • Dr Gerald Ouma – University of Pretoria
  • Mr Jaco Van Schoor – University of Johannesburg
  • Prof John Midgley – Walter Sisulu University
  • Prof Kupe Tawana – University of Witwatersrand
  • Mr Manie Lombaard – Stellenbosch University
  • Mr Manie Regal – University of the Western Cape
  • Prof Thoko Mayekiso – University of Mpumalanga
  • Prof Ahmed Bawa – Universities SA CEO (ex officio member)

Research and Innovation Strategy Group (RISG)

The Research and Innovation Strategy Group provides the Board with specialised advice regarding research and innovation matters in the sector. It works through task teams and steering committees to undertake or direct certain projects and draws expertise from among its membership within the Higher Education sector and National System of Innovation (NSI).

Members (2017):

  • Prof Cheryl de la Rey (Group Chairperson, and Vice-Chancellor, University of Pretoria)
  • Dr Chris Nhlapo – Cape Peninsula University of Technology
  • Prof Corli Witthuhn – University of the Free State
  • Prof Eugene Cloete – Stellenbosch University
  • Prof Frikkie van Niekerk – North-West University
  • Prof Deresh Ramjugernath – University of Kwazulu-Natal
  • Prof Stephanie Burton – University of Pretoria
  • Prof Thoko Mayekiso – University of Mpumalanga
  • Prof Zeblon Vilakazi – University of Witwatersrand
  • Prof Ahmed Bawa –Universities SA CEO (ex officio member)

Teaching and Learning Strategy Group (TLSG)

The Teaching and Learning Strategy Group provides strategic advice to the Universities South Africa Board on teaching and learning related matters within the Higher Education sector, locally and internationally. It also undertakes relevant research and project activities that enable Universities South Africa to respond effectively to the issues of access and success.

Members (2017):

  • Dr Sizwe Mabizela (Group Chairperson, and Vice-Chancellor, Rhodes University)
  • Prof Anthony Staak – Cape Peninsula University of Technology
  • Prof Angina Parekh – University of Johannesburg
  • Dr Christine Boughey – Rhodes University
  • Prof Gugu Moche – University of South Africa
  • Prof Jan Crafford – University of Venda
  • Dr Noluthando Tony – University of Fort Hare
  • Prof Nomthandazo Gwele – Durban University of Technology
  • Prof Suellen Shay – University of Cape Town
  • Prof Wendy Kilfoil – University of Pretoria
  • Prof Ahmed Bawa – Universities SA CEO (ex officio member)

Transformation Strategy Group (TSG)  

The Transformation Strategy Group was formed to advise the Board on how to accelerate and deepen transformation within the university sector, and to develop short and medium and long-term strategies to address transformation matters in the sector. The Group also advises the Board on emerging good practices, and on practices with a possibility to undermine transformation in the sector.

Members (2017):

  • Prof Yunus Ballim (Group Chairperson, and Vice-Chancellor, Sol Plaatje University)
  • Mr George Mvalo – Vaal University of Technology
  • Prof Thoko Mayekiso –  University of Mpumalanga
  • Prof Pamela Dube –  University of the Western Cape
  • Dr Sibongile Muthwa –  Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University
  • Prof Ahmed Bawa –  Universities SA CEO (ex officio member)

HIV/Aids Advisory Board

HEAIDS is a programme of the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) undertaken by Universities South Africa. In December 2013, the DHET extended the programme’s mandate beyond universities to also include public technical and vocational training colleges (TVETs). In line with these changes, the HESA Board, at its final sitting in October 2014, supported the recommendation to dissolve the former HIV & AIDS Strategy Group, and to replace it with the HIV/AIDS Advisory Board, whose composition would duly be broad-based and reflective of all stakeholders involved.

The Advisory Board provides policy and strategic direction for the Higher Education sector on matters relating to HIV and AIDS in the universities and vocational education and training sector. It has been composed to represent the following constituencies::

Members representing USAf (2017):

  • Dr Max Price (Board Chairperson and Vice-Chancellor, University of Cape Town)
  • Prof Thoko Mayekiso – VC, University of Mpumalanga
  • Dr Prins Nevhutalu – VC, Cape Peninsula University of Technology
  • Dr Ramneek Ahluwalia – HEAIDS Programme Director
  • Prof Ahmed Bawa – Universities SA CEO (ex officio member)

Members (2017):

  • Three college principals nominated by the South African College Principals
  • Organisation (SACPO); one to serve as Deputy Chairperson;
  • One representative of the South African National Aids Council (SANAC);
  • One DHET representative;
  • Two presidents of student bodies, i.e. the South African Union of Students (SAUS) and the South African Further Education and Training Student Association (SAFETSA);
  • One person living with HIV & AIDs;
  • Two HIV research and prevention experts;
  • One representative from the South African Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS (SABCOHA); and
  • One union representative.