Senior Director: Division Student Affairs

Dr Kelebogile Choice Makhetha (PhD) is the Senior Director of the Division for Student Affairs at Stellenbosch University, South Africa.

She obtained her Ph. D in Political Science in 2003 in the field of Elections and Electoral Systems – South Africa’s perspective, funded by the Mellon Foundation.

Dr. Choice Makhetha was most recently on a 19-month contract serving as the Transformation Advisor: Office of the Vice-Chancellor, at the Central University of Technology (CUT), in the Free State Province. Prior to this, she was the Vice-Rector: Student Affairs and External Relations (March 2012 – May 2016) and was acting in the same post for a year (2011), before full appointment in it. She frequently served as the Acting Rector whenever the Rector and Vice-Chancellor needed to be away, rotating with other Vice-Rectors and Registrars, and is an alumnus of the University of the Free State (UFS).

As Vice-Rector: Student Affairs and External Relations, she was responsible for Student Affairs, International and Diplomatic Relations, Community Engagement and broader External Relations (locally, provincially, nationally, regionally and globally). Two other campuses of the University of the Free State (South and Qwaqwa campuses), reported to her Office.

Dr. Makhetha served as the Special Assistant to the Rector and Vice-Chancellor of UFS in 2010, responsible for providing strategic management and leadership support, driving special projects, liaising with strategic external partners as well as government, and playing a crucial role in strategic, diplomatic communication.

Dr. Makhetha was a fellow of the American Council on Education (ACE) in 2010/11, awarded by the Higher Education Leadership Management (HELM) programme of HESA, and has been hosted by Harvard University (May 2011) and Spelman College (September 2010) shadowing Presidents and Vice-Presidents. She is a member of the Golden Key International Honour Society, founder President of the UFS Chapter and later served as Chapter Advisor. She was a President of the South African Association of Senior Student Affairs Practitioners (SAASSAP) for a period of four years (2008 – 2012). She served as a panel member of two HEQC Institutional Audits of University of Pretoria (May 2007) and University of Zululand (March 2010).

From the time she served as the Special Assistant to the Rector and Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Makhetha represented the Vice-Chancellor (2010 – 2016), on Higher Education South Africa (HESA), which later rebranded and change name to Universities South Africa. While serving on this highest body representing public higher education, she gained enormous amount of experience functioning at this level and she is highly conversant on issues affecting higher education and familiar with the Higher Education Act, Act 101 of 1997. HESA, now USAf, nominated Dr. Makhetha to serve on the Transformation Strategy Group (TSG) until she resigned in 2016 to take a personal break.

She was a Political Science Lecturer at the Political Science Department of the UFS in 2000. After completing her Ph.D she shifted into administration to serve as the Deputy Dean: Student Affairs.

Dr. Makhetha served on strategic committees focusing on the transformation of the UFS. As it is older than 100 years, it was crucial for integrated strategies for further development and change at UFS. She served on the Transformation Plan Task Team (TPTT) in 2005 – 2006, appointed by the University Council, to design a transformation plan for the university, working with internal and external stakeholders for a period of six months, to achieve consensus through consultation.

She was awarded a fully sponsored opportunity by the American Embassy, to be on the International Visitors Program (IVP) run by the US Department of State, focusing on Diversity and Transformation in Higher Education and other supportive organs of the Federal Government over a 3-week period. Four States visited and over 10 institutions covered, 23 January – 14 February 2010.

She also served as the Chairperson of the Central Employment Equity Committee of the University, liaising on regular basis with South Africa’s Department of Labour for accounting purposes, 2012 – 2015.

Dr. Makhetha formed part of the lead-team in the Reitz Case, working closely with the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC), a Chapter 9 institution she had already build working relations with, before the incident at Reitz. As part of the agreement with SAHRC, they conceptualised the establishment of the Institute for International Studies in Diversity, Reconciliation and Social Justice, which later in 2010, changed name to the Institute for Social Justice and Reconciliation. They also worked on establishing a Center for Human Rights, which first was situated at the Institute and later found a home within the Faculty of Law, as was the requirement of the SAHRC.

In her capacity as the Vice-Rector: Student Affairs and External Relations, Dr Makhetha served as the host and lead negotiator, of the two big national conferences of political parties, (2012 and 2014) among others, and managed to raise millions of Rands for the University, working closely in partnership with other senior colleagues. She designed and managed contracts, and ascertained commitment to honour agreement, from all parties involved.

From time to time in election years (national and provincial, and local government elections), Dr Makhetha serves as a political analyst for the SABC television and radio, periodically, since 1999. She recently served as the Resident Political Analyst for the Free State, covering the August 3, 2016 Local Government Elections on radio and television – her field of expertise.

She was awarded a fully sponsored opportunity to attend the Higher Education Resource Services (HERS) Mid-American Summer Institute in the United States of America, with a focus to empower Women in senior positions within Higher Education, at Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania from 24 June – 21 July 2006.

Among others, she served as the Chairperson of the Student Services Committee of the UFS, the Joint Advisory Committee on Health in the Free State, representing the UFS Medical School. She served as the Chairperson of the Naming Committee of Council, as well as the Chairperson the Internationalization Committee of the University and also served as a Board Member of the National Institute of Higher Education (NIHE) in Northern Cape, Kimberley, 2012-2014.

Dr Makhetha understands Higher Education in South Africa and worked closely with Higher Education organisations and associations in several other countries, with an aim and effort to keep abreast of developments and to enrich students'​ experience locally.

Click here to send an email to Dr Choice Makhetha.