The University of Venda (UNIVEN) organised a Council Induction Workshop primarily for the members of the Council to recognise their roles and responsibilities. The council is tasked with the responsibility to exercise general oversight over the institution and its operational affairs. Council members are duty-bound to act in the best interests of the University. It is for this reason that the University held a high-level two-day workshop from 16-17 February 2023 at the CSIR International Convention Centre in Pretoria.

Photo above: Attendees of the Induction Workshop

The workshop was crucial because the University has always been sharing, educating, and keeping council members well-informed about the developments that are taking place at the University.

UNIVEN Vice-Chancellor and Principal – Dr Bernard Nthambeleni

On day one of the workshop, UNIVEN Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Dr Bernard Nthambeleni presented the strategic overview of the University governance. Dr Nthambeleni shared a brief overview of UNIVEN Strategic Plan 2025 in which he explained the vision, mission, values and the four Strategic Thrusts. He further touched on UNIVEN positioning statement which is ‘Positioning the University of Venda for impact and relevance’. “We want the University of Venda that is impactful, influential, productive, efficient and effective as an institution of higher learning”.

“As a comprehensive University, our undergraduate programme is a key part of the engine that drives the University”. He indicated that the Management is committed to improve the University of Venda’s brand image so that people should feel proud to be associated with the University based on the quality of our offerings and teaching as well as our reputation. He further pointed out that the intention is to expand the influence of the University beyond Limpopo Province borders by emphasising the University’s unique identity. Dr Nthambeleni also talked about strengthening partnerships and collaborations in support of the University initiatives such as the possibilities of offering joint degrees with other renowned institutions of higher learning. In addition, Dr Nthambeleni showed the importance of building a good reputation with higher education professional bodies such as Council on Higher Education (CHE) and other statutory bodies and science councils.

As he continued, he indicated that the University is intending to partner with the Musina Makhado Special Economic Zone (MMSEZ) to be a training ground for skills required by the Special Economic Zone.

In his presentation, he also highlighted an overview of UNIVEN finances in which he shared that for the past five years, UNIVEN achieved unqualified audit reports by the Auditor General South Africa.

Dr Nthambeleni reflected on the state of governance and administration and said that UNIVEN management supports all committees of the Council as they provide oversight over the institution. In outlining governance of teaching and learning, he mentioned that UNIVEN’s Programme and Qualification Mix (PQM) contains only the Higher Education Qualifications Sub-Framework (HEQSF) aligned, Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) approved, CHE accredited and South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) registered qualifications.

This was followed by a presentation by the Director of Internal Audit and Risk, Mrs Diana Makwarela who together with the Head of Governance and Compliance, Mr Fhatuwani Ndou, presented on Governance, Ethics and Compliance Approach and Action Plan.

University Registrar – Adv. Edward Lambani

Later in the day the University Registrar, Adv. Edward Lambani informed members about the evaluation of individual members of Council and its committees, (including the Chairperson of Council).

Director Legal Services – Adv Eric Nemukula

Director Legal Services, Adv Eric Nemukula, presented about Council Code of Conduct and how to exercise oversight of Governance maturity of the institution. He reiterated that the Council is expected to perform its duties in line with the University Statute and Higher Education Act.

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 Chairperson of Council – Mr Juneas Lekgetha

The Chairperson of Council, Mr Juneas Lekgetha welcomed the Council members and emphasised that the purpose of the 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.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor Teaching and Learning – Prof Jan Crafford

Deputy Vice-Chancellor Teaching and Learning, Prof Jan Crafford presented about the process of awarding honorary degrees. Prof Crafford indicated that the awarding of honorary degrees was based on Chapter 14 (92) 1-17 of the revised statute of the University of Venda.

Chief Financial Officer – Mr Botwe Kraziya

Chief Financial Officer, Mr Botwe Kraziya’s presentation was based on the insurance covers within the institution.

The Deputy President of Convocation – Mr Rudzani Mushweu

The Deputy President of Convocation, Mr Rudzani Mushweu presented about the responsibilities of the Convocation at the University of Venda. Amongst other things, Mr Mushweu presented about the importance of launching UNIVEN Alumni Chapters for the purpose of maintaining good relationship between the University and its alumni, resource mobilisation initiatives and ensuring that their performance is aimed at supporting the University’s strategic plan.

CEO PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) – Ms Shirley Machaba

CEO PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC), Ms Shirley Machaba, who is a proud UNIVEN alumna, presented about the King IV Report on Corporate Governance and its application in Institutions of Higher Learning. Amongst other things, Ms Machaba presented about recent governance challenges/changed focus; Introduction of Information Technology Oversight; Integrated Governance Framework; Governance of Organisations; Accountability of Directors; Ethical Leadership and Culture; Governance Structure and Oversight.

In closing the Induction workshop, the Chairperson of Council, made reflections on the Induction workshop and how the induction has served its purpose. It was made clear during the workshop that members of council exercise their responsibilities in the interests of the University as a whole rather than as representative of any constituency. He concluded by thanking all participants as well as the organisers of the workshop for the job well done.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor Corporate Services – Dr Robert Martin

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: 19 February 2022

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