This communication serves as a formal announcement on the Institutional Audit of the University of Venda (UNIVEN), conducted by the Council on Higher Education (CHE).
The CHE is an independent statutory body established in terms of the provisions of the Higher Education Act No. 101 of 1997. Its primary responsibility is to advise the Minister for Higher Education and Training on matters pertaining to the quality assurance, promotion and enhancement of the higher education offerings and practices. As the Quality Council for Higher Education, the CHE is mandated in terms of the National Qualifications Framework Act No. 67 of 2008 to manage the development and implementation of the Higher Education Qualifications Sub-Framework (HEQSF).
The institutional audit has commenced in June and will culminate in a site visit by the CHE External Audit Committee in 2021. Faculties and Departments are currently in the process of preparing reports to perform an internal review to compile a Self- Evaluation Report which must be submitted by end of November 2021.
The purpose of the audit process is to review the teaching and learning programmes as well as the general institutional support towards student access and success. This process will provide an opportunity for the University to reflect on and assess the
effectiveness of its integrated quality management systems and processes towards improving the quality of learning and teaching, research and engagement with the community, and considers how such quality management systems enhance the likelihood of student success.
The audit process will comprise the following three major parts:
– The first part being the development of an institutional Self-Evaluation Report (SER) and provision of relevant portfolio of evidence.
– The second part being the site visit by external panel of peers (reviewers) appointed by the CHE to interrogate the institutional SER. This will take place in 2022.
– The third part focuses on the development of quality improvement plans based on the recommendations to be made by the external panel in terms of the prescribed audit criteria. A comprehensive assessment of the institution will be made to determine the level of maturity of the internal quality assurance systems of the University.
UNIVEN’s approach to the institutional audit
The CHE had its first engagement with the University’s Executive Management in April 2021 to initiate the institutional audit. This was followed by the establishment of the Institutional Audit Steering Committee charged with the responsibility to plan for and provide institutional oversight for the preparation and development of the Self-Evaluation Report. This will be followed by establishment of Sub-groups comprising the staff and students, to help develop a Self-Evaluation Report in relation to the four focus areas of the audit which are as follows:
1. the role of an institution’s governance, strategic planning (vision, mission and goals), management and academic leadership on its quality management
2. the design and implementation of an integrated quality management system
3. the coherence and integration of the components of the institutional quality management
4. the effectiveness of the institutional quality management system to enhance the likelihood of student success.
As this is an Institutional Audit Review, staff and students are requested to please give their cooperation when requested to do so by the respective Line Managers and Steering Committee members within each Faculty and Department.
Dr R.L. Martin
DVC Corporate Services