Panel wraps up quality audit

23 May 2005

Audit preparations: Panel members Prof Simon Van Heyningen (seated), Vice-Principal of the University of Edinburgh, and Thandwa Mthembu, Vice-Principal of the University of the Witwatersrand, prepare for the interview process at UCT.

The visit of the external panel of the Higher Education Quality Committee (HEQC) to UCT moved into high gear last week. Dr Mark Orkin, head of the Human Sciences Research Council, lead a delegation of 10 auditors and additional audit staff to the university, completing the last stage of the process. A formal report on their findings will be presented to Vice-Chancellor Professor Njabulo Ndebele shortly.

The visit follows UCT's submission of a self-evaluation report to the HEQC panel in March this year. The HEQC panel reports to the Council for Higher Education in terms of the Higher Education Act.

The audit kicked off on Sunday, May 15, with a tour of the UCT campuses, followed by the first meeting of the audit team, which continued well into Sunday evening. Last Monday morning the panel met with the vice-chancellor, and afterwards interviewed key role players and representatives of the various sections of the university. These sessions were completed on Friday.

This is the first institutional audit to be conducted at a public university. As one of the institutions not affected by the recent mergers in higher education, UCT was first up on the list. Newly-merged institutions will be audited once they have completed restructuring processes.

"UCT is happy with the process," Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Martin Hall told Monday Paper last week. "The questions asked show that the panel put a large amount of work into reading the provided documentation. I'm confident we'll have a fair hearing."

Hall said that UCT welcomed the process.

"It is part of ensuring the public's interest in and the credibility of higher education," he commented.

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Monday Monthly

Volume 24 Edition 11

23 May 2005

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