The University of Venda (UNIVEN) Council held its induction workshop from 31 January to 01 February 2022 at the CSIR International Convention Centre in Pretoria. The council exercises general oversight over the institution and its affairs. 

The purpose of this Induction workshop was to share and educate Council members about the roles and responsibilities of council in the institutions of higher learning and what is expected from them as council members, most importantly as the University is in the process of implementing the 2021 – 2025 Strategic Plan. 

Chairperson of Council, Mr Juneas Lekgetha

The Chairperson of Council, Mr Juneas Lekgetha welcomed the Council members and a delegation from the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) led by Mr Mahlubi Chief Mabizela who is the Chief Director: Higher Education Policy in the 

Department of Higher Education and Training. In his welcome message, Mr Lekgetha highlighted that the purpose of this workshop was also to look at the governance of the council itself. He indicated that workshops like this are very resourceful and are organised to equip council members with skills for ensuring smooth running of the University. 

Presenters from DHET posing for a group photo outside CSIR International Convention Centre 

On day one, the Induction session received presentations from Mr Mahlubi Chief Mabizela who is the Chief Director: Higher Education Policy. He presented on Higher Education Overview, Policy and Legislative Framework. This was followed by a presentation by Dr Phillia Vukela, Institutional Support and Sector Liaison from DHET who talked about the Roles and Responsibilities of Councils. Mr Alfred Makgato, Director for Institutional Funding at DHET ‘s presentation was based on University Funding Formula. Ms Pearl Whittle, Director for Management Support DHET delivered a presentation about Reporting Regulations and the Financial Health Indicators. 

UNIVEN Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Dr Bernard Nthambeleni delivered his strategic overview of the University’s 2021 – 2025 Strategic Plan. In his presentation, he set the tone by highlighting the background and context of the strategic plan 2021-2025. He further touched on UNIVEN positioning statement which is ‘Positioning the University of Venda for impact for relevance’. Dr Nthambeleni reflected on UNIVEN Strategic plan 2021-2025 at glance in which he explained the vision, mission, values and the four Strategic Thrusts. He concluded his presentation by highlighting the University’s Operational Model that gives rise to the University’s new academic structure. 

The University Registrar, Adv. Edward Lambani delivered his presentation which covered important topics such as Council operations and its sub-committees; Evaluation of individual members of Council and its committees (including Chairpersons) and Evaluation of Council and committees of Council. 

On the second day of the workshop, Adv Eric Nemukula, Director Legal Services on behalf of the University Registrar presented about Council Code of Conduct and How to exercise oversight of Governance maturity of the institution. 

Throughout the workshop, the fundamental role of Council was made very clear. The Council, through its oversight and governance role is expected to be the pillar of strength in the University. 

The importance of understanding the roles and responsibilities of other stakeholders in the management of the University was noted. Understanding of these roles will enable Council to operate smoothly with other internal stakeholders to ensure the growth, effective management, and development of the University. 

Members of Council also received a presentation from Mr Christopher Whittle, a Managing member of Universum Governance, Strategy and Risk Advisory. His presentation focused on Governance of Risk, Audit, and ICT. Mr Whittle defined Risk as an “Effect of uncertainty on objectives”. In essence, risk management refers to the practice of identifying potential risks in advance, analysing them, and taking precautionary steps to reduce or curb the risk. He said it is vital for a university’s governance structure which is Council to have capacity and an ideal framework to support the implementation of risk activities. 

The Chairperson of Council, Mr Juneas Lekgetha gave the closing remarks. He made reflections on the Induction workshop and how the induction has served its purpose. He concluded by thanking all participants as well as the organisers of the workshop for their sterling job. 

The Council induction workshop was facilitated by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Corporate Services, Dr Robert Martin. 

Issued by: 

Department of Marketing, Branding and Communication 

University of Venda 
Tel: (015) 962 8525 / 8710 
Date: 03 February 2022