17 February 2022 | Story Lacea Loader | Photo Sonia Small (Kaleidoscope Studios)
Dr Engela van Staden
Dr Engela van Staden, Vice Rector: Academic

The University of the Free State (UFS) has finalised the first part of the Council on Higher Education (CHE) Institutional Audit (IA), submitting its Institutional Self-Evaluation Report (SER) and Portfolio of Evidence (PoE) to the higher education quality assurance body. 

According to Dr Engela van Staden, Vice-Rector: Academic, the second part of the institutional audit will involve the participation of relevant stakeholders in a site visit to the institution. During the visit, scheduled between 9 and 13 May 2022, an external panel of experts will systematically assess the submitted SER and requisite documents by asking inquisitive questions to interviewees who will be participating in this process.  

“The focus will be on the quality of programme offerings with a view to improving student success in all spheres of the student walk – from registration to graduation. To this end, the university’s Integrated Quality Management Framework (IQMF) will be assessed in order to provide evidence that quality assurance is ingrained in the core functions of the UFS, i.e., student success; quality of teaching and research; and engaged scholarship.”

Dr Van Staden says by re-introducing the SER, the university will embark on a stakeholder engagement plan, engaging with staff in faculties, service units, directorates, centres, departments, or schools, to keep them informed and prepared for a productive contribution to the Institutional Audit process. 

- The CHE is an independent statutory body established in terms of the provisions of the Higher Education Act No. 101 of 1997, as amended. It advises the Minister responsible for Higher Education and Training and is the national authority for quality assurance and promotion in higher education.

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