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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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Students are flocking back to class
2014-02-03


Ready for the new academic year. From the left are: Shannan Bohlander and Caden Hendricks.
Photo: Chloe Jansen


Despite the weather, campus is bustling with anxious and excited students. While the first week of classes is underway, some are dashing to and from class and others are catching up with classmates.

Shannan Bohlander, a second-year Psychology student, is greatly looking forward to this new year. “I’m excited about actually going to class!” Caden Hendricks, a second-year Media Studies and Journalism student, says his year is all about prioritising, “I’m excited to see if I can achieve balance this year, whilst at the same time not ‘missing out’ on all the activities on and around campus.”

BComm Accounting honours student, Siya Qinga, says this year is a daunting one for her, “I’m not too sure what I’m excited about, because at the start of the year you hear people telling you that it’s hard [honours], so it gets to the point where you’re very scared, because there’s no one reassuring you on that. So it’s a very confusing time, and you need a whole lot of introspection.”

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