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06 August 2018 Photo Sonia Small
Karen Lazenby WomenofKovsies
Dr Karen Lazenby strives for a stronger, rule-based, and consistent governance structure.

A transformed University of the Free State (UFS) will be one that promotes social justice in everything it does, a university where its diverse people feel a sense of common purpose and engagement. The UFS is developing this through its Integrated Transformation Plan (ITP) introduced in January 2017. 

“The majority of the current systems and processes in student administration at the university are still manual. This lack of automation leads to inconsistencies and service failures,” says Dr Karen Lazenby. As Registrar for Systems and Administration, Dr Lazenby is responsible for ensuring a smooth and efficient student lifecycle across all three campuses. 

With the ITP, the Governance: Systems and Administration work stream strives to have a stronger, rule-based, and consistent governance structure with a single line of accountability in student administration across all faculties and relevant support departments on the three campuses. By ensuring this ease of use and access there will be an integrated student experience and greater empowerment of students.

“Our focus is on automation and self-services for students (such as the time-table, requests for additional and ad hoc exams and appeals), to ensure transparency and accessibility of rules and policies, decisions relating to admission, progression rules, awarding of qualifications and graduation and faculty and general rules,” Dr Lazenby said.  It will also entail the optimisation of PeopleSoftCampus (the Enterprise Resource Planning system).

“Through this automation, I would also like to get the university’s student administration to such a level that academic staff can focus their energy on teaching and research and student administration staff can focus more on quality assurance,” said Dr Lazenby.

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Universities and communities should forge links, Prof. Khotseng
2010-03-04

At the seminar, from the left: Dr Sethulego Matebesi (Head: Department of Sociology), Prof. Khotseng and Prof. Naas Bredenkamp (Department of Sociology).
Photo: Lize du Plessis


The Department of Sociology at the University of the Free State (UFS) recently held a departmental seminar where the former Vice-Rector of the UFS, Prof. Benito Khotseng, was the guest speaker.

He focused on the importance of the engagement between universities and the community. According to him South Africa has one of the most troubled societies in the world.

He said factors that led to people living in stress are, amongst others, unemployment, broken families, slum housing, child abuse, school dropouts, HIV/Aids, illiteracy and crime.

“People in the communities complain about what they don’t have when they should look at what they can do with what they do have,” Prof. Khotseng said.

He said the UFS was filled with people with the necessary expertise who should go to the communities to help where they could. “Universities and communities should start new, collaborating relationships,” he said.

“When we assist communities we should not see them as a bag of needs,” he said. “Each time someone uses his capabilities, the community grows stronger.”

He further said the UFS could certainly play a meaningful role in regional engagement and development.
- Lize du Plessis

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