Dear colleagues and students
I am writing to you to announce a forthcoming audit of the University of Cape Town (UCT) by the Council on Higher Education (CHE). The CHE is the statutory body responsible for the quality assurance of higher education institutions. It was created by the Higher Education Act of 1997.
The audit will take place between 16 August and 19 August 2022. It is a valuable opportunity for UCT to engage in a comprehensive reflection on our practices of internal quality assurance in the core functions of teaching and learning and research.
The audit process
The audit process has two parts: the development of an institutional self-evaluation report (SER) and portfolio of evidence, and a site visit by a panel of peers who will interrogate the SER with the university. After the site visit, the panel will make a list of appropriate commendations and recommendations based on the criteria applied during the audit. A holistic assessment of the institution will be made, indicating the level of maturity of the internal quality assurance systems of the university.
UCT’s approach to the institutional audit
The CHE recently met with the UCT executive regarding the initiation of an institutional audit. We are establishing an Institutional Audit Steering Committee to plan for and provide institutional oversight of the preparation and development of the self-evaluation report. Workstreams constituted by staff and students will be established to help develop a self-evaluation in relation to the four focus areas of the audit:
The audit and Vision 2030
Vision 2030 has been developed based on strong self-reflection. An audit of our internal quality assurance mechanisms done by peers is another opportunity to continue this reflection with the view to strengthen the connection between transformation, excellence and sustainability, with feedback from colleagues.
I encourage you to participate in the process and to respond positively to the invitations that will be sent to you by the steering committee to help with the work. At the time of the site visit many of you will be asked to meet with the audit panel to give your views on the SER and to respond to their questions.
I will be communicating to you about the progress made in preparations for the audit and on the full process throughout this year and next year.
Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng
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