Legislative framework important - Hesa

2013-10-16 14:38

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Johannesburg - Aspiring leaders at public universities need to understand South Africa's legislative framework to lead and manage effectively, Higher Education SA (Hesa) said on Wednesday.

This was what CEO Jeffrey Mabelebele told 32 fellows at Hesa's leadership and management training workshop in Benoni on Tuesday, Hesa said in a statement.

Mabelebele stressed how the collegial method of governing and managing universities in the past had been dismantled and in its place a new model of public accountability had been created.

The legislative framework post-1994 had seen the rise of the White Paper on Higher Education and Training, plus a plethora of legislative instruments changing the complexion of governance within the higher education system.

The senate was previously the highest decision-making body on academic matters of the university, Mabelebele said.

This had changed as the Higher Education Act 101 of 1997, as amended, had made provision for the council of a university to govern the institution, and as such, assume supremacy over the senate.

Secondly, provisions in the Higher Education Act now gave the minister of higher education more powers to intervene if a university contravened the provisions of the act.

Higher education policy

Thirdly, the introduction of reporting regulations had rendered universities accountable to the state's accountability requirements.

Anyone aspiring to climb the leadership ladder within a public institution of higher learning needed to be able to grapple with these developments, Mabelebele said

"Our aspiring leaders need to understand the intricacies of that act, its implications and the additional burden it brings into their institutions' governing system."

He went on to say that the higher education leadership and management training was designed to equip leaders-in-the-making to deal with the imperatives of managing change at their institutions.

It further enabled them to debate managing university-stakeholder partnerships and sharpen their understanding of the higher education policy and regulatory framework.

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