UCT to host training conference for ombuds

03 September 2015 | Story by Newsroom
UCT's ombud, Zetu Makamandela-Mguqulwa.
UCT's ombud, Zetu Makamandela-Mguqulwa.

The UCT Ombud's Office will host an ombudsing training conference, titled 'Foundations of Organisational Ombuds Practice', in partnership with the Department of Higher Education and Training, the International Ombudsman Association (IOA) and the university.

The course will be held from 28 September to 1 October at the Graduate School of Business's Breakwater campus.

The four-day course will be tailored for new ombuds and facilitated by the IOA.

Driving the process is UCT's ombud, Zetu Makamandela-Mguqulwa.

The Chief Office of the Minister of Higher Education and Training has encouraged higher education institutions to create Ombud offices to relieve the pressure of dealing directly with the complaints from students and staff.

"The UCT Ombud's Office was created nearly five years ago and has been a pioneer in a sector under great pressure to transform, a process often fraught with underlying conflict and in need of sound conflict and dispute resolution mechanisms and structures," says Makamandela-Mguqulwa.

Topics that will be discussed at the workshop include: how to set up and operate an Ombud's Office, including fundamentals such as logging concerns, reporting to management, designing reports and tracking issues; the basic principles of the organisational ombud's role; aligning the ombud's function with the organisation's mission and goals; and promoting the ombud's role and function, and gaining and keeping management support.

All 26 higher education institutions have been invited to attend as well as ombuds from various organisations.

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