In line with the Board’s decision of October 2017 to add two new focus areas to the work of the Transformation Strategy Group, the TSG will, among other priorities in 2018, initiate projects giving effect to a) the reconstitution of institutional culture by focusing on the design of universities around their students and staff, and b) establishing a national project to theorise and to build models of serious engagement between universities and the local context in which they are located.
Strengthening Institutional Forums for integrity and functional effectiveness
Following the development by Prof Yunus Ballim (Chairperson of the TSG) of a position paper for the DHET, titled “A reflection on the role of the Institutional Forum at Higher Education Institutions,” the DHET’s Task Team on Institutional Forums, of which Prof Ballim is a member, has developed two related documents titled:
Professor Yunus Ballim (middle), Vice-Chancellor of Sol Plaatjie University in Kimberley, is playing a pivotal role in universities’ interrogation of the role of institutional forums.
Subsequent to making the two documents available to the TSG and the Transformation Managers’ Forum (TMF) for comment, the DHET has finalised the concept document in respect of the Community of Practice. This document will be workshopped on 12 April 2018 by the TOC, the institutional forum Chairs and members of universities’ executive management (i.e. DVCs, Registrars, etc.) who are responsible for transformation and the functioning of institutional forums. Vice-Chancellors have nominated the relevant people to attend this workshop.
Common Campaign Days 2018
This concept, a brainchild of the TSG, was endorsed by the then HESA Board in 2012, with the aim of deepening transformation conversations within higher education. The Board approved an annual celebration of transformation on the basis of topical issues in transformation, in which all public universities are involved. On 16 February 2018, the TSG endorsed a proposal from the Transformation Managers’ Forum (TMF), to theme the Common Campaign Day 2018 “Social Inclusion and wellbeing”. The idea is to use this event to address the scourge of substance abuse and similar social ills within universities. Even though the Board approved of the proposed theme, the date(s) have yet to be set for 2018. It is envisaged that the Common Campaign Days 2018 will be observed during the second half of the year.