Release of CHE’s institutional audit report on UCT

26 September 2023

Dear colleagues and students

You may remember that the Council on Higher Education (CHE) conducted an institutional audit of the University of Cape Town (UCT) in 2022. The overarching purpose of this audit was to evaluate the coherence and effectiveness of our internal quality assurance system in enabling student success and improving our core academic functions. The university received the draft audit report and conducted an initial factual check on the document earlier this year.

On 6 September 2023, we were notified that the Higher Education Quality Committee (HEQC) approved the institutional audit report.

I am pleased to advise that UCT met all 16 standards of the institutional audit and was rated mature on standards 1, 6, 9 and 10, and functional on standards 2-5, 7-8, 11-13, 14-16. A mature rating means an institution is effective in achieving its differentiated purpose, while a functional rating means the quality management system in the institution meets the expected thresholds in terms of the identified standard, but some minor areas may need further improvement.

The CHE now requires the submission of an improvement plan (IP). The main purpose of the IP is to provide the institution with an opportunity to reflect on the 30 recommendations in the report and provide a response on how quality improvements will be addressed. The IP is to be submitted to the CHE by 30 November 2023.

Upon approval of the plan by the HEQC, the university will be granted one year in which to address the recommendations listed in the audit report, implement its policies and plans, mitigate identified risks, and implement any other actions that flow from the report.

The Institutional Planning Department is now developing the IP under the guidance of myself and the Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research and Internationalisation, Professor Sue Harrison. Relevant stakeholders will be consulted on the various aspects of the improvement plan. The draft IP will be considered by the Senate Executive Committee on 6 November 2023, and will be tabled before Senate on 17 November 2023.

The university will also be required to provide periodic reports on progress based on the IP.

The audit panel’s report together with other documentation relating to the audit is available to the university community on the Institutional Planning Department’s website. Please access the report using your UCT login credentials.


Emer Prof Linda Ronnie
Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Teaching and Learning

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