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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

Shortage of quantity surveyors discussed at UFS
2006-03-24

During the recent visit of the Association of South African Quantity Surveyors (ASAQS) to the University of the Free State (UFS) were from the left Mr Egon Wortmann (Director: ASAQS), Prof Basie Verster (representative of the Free State on the ASAQS and head of the Department of Quantity Surveying and Construction Management at the UFS), Mr  Greyling Venter (Chairperson:  Free State branch of the ASAQS), Prof DG Brümmer(Vice-President:  ASAQS) and Mr  Patrick Waterson (President:  ASAQS).
Photo supplied

 

Shortage of quantity surveyors discussed at UFS

 “The South African building industry is experiencing an unprecedented high level of economic growth and prosperity.  This is causing a definite shortage of registered quantity surveyors,” said Mr Egon Wortmann, Director of the Association of South African Quantity Surveyors(ASAQS) during the association’s recent visit to the Department of Quantity Surveying and Construction Management at the University of the Free State (UFS).

 “This shortage is especially noticeable in local and national governments where unqualified and inexperienced staff, consultants and/or facilitators are now appointed,” said Mr Wortmann. 

 In doing so, the authorities that have adopted this approach are according to Mr Wortmann actually acting illegally and are not in compliance with the legal and statutory requirements of South Africa.  “These unprofessional practices are unproductive, it leads to frustration and is strongly condemned by the ASAQS,” he said.

 “The service delivery of these unqualified and unregistered service providers is often sub standard and does not comply to the legal requirements of the profession.  It may also result in the tarnishing of the image and high professional standards set by the quantity surveying profession,” said Mr Wortmann.

 “Universities offering programmes in quantity-surveying and construction management are also negatively affected by the high levels of activity in the building environment.  Suitable lecturing staff are leaving the academic institutions as they are attracted to better opportunities being offered in the building industry. The ability of the tertiary institutions to attract young academics, to train them and to keep them in the longer term, is therefore almost impossible”, said Prof Basie Verster, head of the Department of Quantity Surveying and Construction Management at the UFS and representative of the Free State on the ASAQS.

 According to Prof Verster the UFS supplies more than its quota of qualified quantity surveyors to the South African building industry.  “Although more than 460 students are registered in construction related programmes at the UFS, we are as the ASAQS’s concerned about the shortage of students that can enter the construction industry.  In our case, we  are experiencing a shortage in black female students,” he said.

 “Of the 460 postgraduate students, 38% are black of which 20% are female students.  Graduates do also not necessarily stay in the country.  As the UFS’s programmes are accredited overseas, a lot of our students leave the country for working opportunities elsewhere,” said Prof Verster.

 Mr Patrick Waterson, President of the ASAQS, appealed to quantity surveyors to, when they are approached, consider academic careers or to make themselves available to lecture on a part time basis.  “I also appeal to quantity-surveying practices, construction companies and developers to consider taking part in training activities,” he said.

 The ASAQS has over the years developed a proud tradition within the quantity-surveying profession. Consequently membership of this organisation is a sought after goal for many members within the building environment. International agreements with various countries are also in place whereby it is mutually agreed that local as well as overseas qualifications are mutually acceptable on a reciprocal basis. 

 A more recent addition to the list of agreements is the reciprocity agreement entered into with the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors which makes it possible for South African based quantity surveyors to practice in over 120 countries worldwide.

 Media release
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Media Representative
Tel:   (051) 401-2584
Cell:  083 645 2454
E-mail:  loaderl.stg@mail.uovs.ac.za 
23 March 2006

 

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