On Tuesday, 28 March 2017, the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Higher Education and Training led by its Chairperson, Honourable Connie September, visited the University of Venda (Univen) to, among other things assess the status on Governance and Management at the University.
In her remarks, the Chairperson of the Higher Education and Training Portfolio Committee urged the University Management to engage with students to resolve the current student protest so that students would get back to classes. Following presentations made by Univen’s different structures, she applauded University Management for the good work that they are doing and encouraged them to keep it the way they are doing. “You are on the right track; it is just a matter of time but we can all see the good work that you have done so far. This shows that Univen is in the good hands,” she said.
The Vice Chancellor and Principal, Prof Peter Mbati made a comprehensive presentation on behalf of the University and which was well received by the oversight committee. He emphasised the principle of co-governance and the responsibility that every constituency and members of the University had in ensuring the well-being of UNIVEN. Prof. Mbati demonstrated how UNIVEN, working from the basis of its strategic plan, was able to move from vision to implementation. “Univen is financially healthy but it can do much better if more resources were made available” Mbati added. The presentation covered broad areas such as progress and challenges in the massive infrastructure development programme at UNIVEN that had complimented the dramatic growth in research outputs and, improved student performance. The Vice Chancellor also shared with the oversight committee tremendous progress made in the introduction of new qualifications that respond to regional and national socio-economic development. He confirmed that both the SAICA/Bankseta supported BCom Accounting Sciences programme and, Agricultural Engineering and Bio systems, had received DHET approval and CHE accreditation.
All Univen structures were well represented. Both Institutional Forum and the National Education and Allied Workers’ Union were commended by the Portfolio Committee for the good working relationship with all relevant stakeholders including the University Management. The Portfolio Committee noted that students managed to handle the issue of #fees must fall very well, which was commendable.
The Deputy Chair of Council Vho Thovhele Tshivhase confirmed the excellent working relationship between Council and Management which ensured the good progress witnessed on campus to date.
During the meeting, the Oversight Committee engaged with the Student Representative Council, NEHAWU, University Management, Institutional Forum and Members of the University Council. Mr. Alfred Mutoti, Chairperson of NEHAWU, shared Union-driven successes at UNIVEN and also challenges experienced by workers. He also shared how working with various stakeholders many of these matters had been resolved.
The Chairperson of the Institutional Forum Mr. Khathutshelo Razwiedani indicated that this structure was vibrant at UNIVEN and advised Council on a number of important matters such as the appointment of Executive Management and, particularly those encapsulated in the Institutions’ Integrated Transformation Plan.
The National Student Financial Aid Scheme was also invited to the meeting to provide clarity on the matters that led to the protest action by UNIVEN students. The Deputy President of the SRC, Israel Mkhatshwa, made a presentation on how they run their affairs and the challenges faced by students.
Issued by: Department of Communications and Marketing
University of Venda
Tel: 015 962 8525