HEALTH Sciences Faculty's Transformation Officer, Dr Gonda Perez, and former Vice-Chancellor (1981–96), Dr Stuart Saunders, are among the new members of the Council on Higher Education (CHE). The Minister of Education, Professor Kader Asmal, made the announcement following a public nomination process.
The new membership of the CHE is for the period 2002 to 2006 (except the Chair who is appointed for a term of five years) and consists of the Chairperson, Saki Macozoma, and Ordinary Members Professor Hugh Africa, Professor Stef Coetzee, Professor Brian Figaji, Professor Jakes Gerwel, Jenny Glennie, Advocate Maria Hoekstra, Thandiwe January-McLean, Vusi Nhlapo, Jacob Mamabolo, Ebriam Patel, Professor Mapule Ramashala, as well as Perez and Saunders.
Speaking briefly after the announcement, Perez, one of five women to have been nominated to the body, said that while individual responsibilities had not yet been allocated, her nomination was an honour. "I hope to make a positive contribution to the committee and to higher education in general," she added.
The CHE was established as an independent statutory body in 1998 in terms of the Higher Education Act, No 101 of 1997. The CHE's mandate and responsibilities are defined by the Higher Education Act and Education White Paper 3 of 1997: A Programme for the Transformation of Higher Education.
The core functions of the CHE are to:
- advise the Minister at their request or proactively on all matters related to higher education;
- assume, through the Higher Education Quality Committee, executive responsibility for quality assurance within higher education and training, including programme accreditation, institutional audits, programme evaluation and quality promotion;
monitor and evaluate the realisation of the vision, policy goals and aims for higher education;
- contribute to developing higher education;
- report annually to parliament on higher education; and
- consult with stakeholders around higher education.