Stellenbosch University (SU) is at the forefront of efforts to establish a continental body that will highlight issues such as student recruitment, admission, registration and curriculum management at African universities.
Registrars and administrators from 16 universities in ten African countries recently met on SU's Stellenbosch campus to take part in a capacity-building workshop co-hosted by SU and the Association of African Universities (AAU). The four-day workshop programme, which was facilitated by SU Registrar Dr Ronel Retief, covered topics such as student records management, examinations and timetabling, graduation, and professional development. Participants included vice-chancellors, registrars and senior administrators from universities in Zimbabwe, Ghana, Malawi, Nigeria, Mauritius, Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya and South Africa.
According to Dr Retief, the event – the first of its kind – “was a great opportunity for professional administrative support services environments to contribute to SU's vision, which has a strong focus on Africa. Some 14 SU colleagues participated in the workshop, mainly as presenters on the various topics". In her opinion, the greatest benefit for SU participants was to have had the opportunity not only to showcase their expertise and best practice, but also to learn from the interactions with fellow delegates.
At the workshop, Dr Retief and other delegates expressed a need for a formal forum for the continent's university registrars and administrators. “From SU's perspective, we will continue participating in AAU capacity development opportunities. We would also be happy to collaborate with the AAU to establish an African forum for university registrars and administrators."
- The Association of African Universities is the apex organisation and forum for consultation, exchange of information and cooperation among institutions of higher education in Africa. It represents the voice of African higher education on regional and international bodies, and supports networking in teaching, research, information exchange and dissemination.
Photo caption: University registrars and administrators from across Africa attended a capacity-building workshop on SU's Stellenbosch campus from 25 to 28 June.