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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.

News Archive

School of Medicine accredited

The School of Medicine in the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of the Free State (USF) is now one of only a handful of similar South African schools with a five year curriculum which received accreditation from the Health Profession Council of South Africa (HPCSA).

Prof. Gert van Zyl, Head of the school, said the school is very proud of this achievement. It means that the hard work of students and staff over the past few years are now being rewarded.

“This curriculum is similar to those of the world’s best medical schools. Most other South African medical schools are still following the six year curriculum. The UFS accreditation is applicable for the next five years.

“A special committee of the HPCSA requires a number of documents and a presentation on the quality and standard of teaching at the school.”

As a result of the five year curriculum students of the UFS medical school start working one year earlier than students of other universities. This lightens the burden of a year’s class fees.

“This accreditation is not voluntarily. If the school did not receive accreditation now, we would have to start the process again,” said Van Zyl. 

Michelé O'Connor, Volksblad, 13 May 2005

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