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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

Ensuring justice does not get lost in translation
2014-02-06


Court interpreters who have successfully completed a legal interpreting learnership.
Photo: Stephen Collett

The University of the Free State (UFS) is a taking a leading role in changing the face and character of the South African court system, infusing it with qualified professionals.

The university’s Unit for Language Facilitation and Empowerment partnered with the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development as well as the Safety and Security Sector Education and Training Authority (SASSETA). This union lead to 63 court interpreters successfully completing a legal interpreting learnership.

These newly-qualified interpreters will from now on render specialised interpreting services in courts across our country.

Addressing the audience at the diploma ceremony held on the Bloemfontein Campus, Dr Derek Swemmer, Registrar of the UFS, said translators have an important role to play. ”Translation is a gift to those who do not understand the language that a person is speaking,” he said.

In her speech, Nonkululeko Sindane, Director-General in the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development, said the qualification will improve the professional status of court interpreting. She added that the learnership is based on a broader government policy on skills development. She mentioned that eight of those who received qualifications have been permanently employed by the department.

Praising the university for its role, Abbey Witbooi, Chairperson of the SASSETA board, said the diploma will allow qualified learners to contribute to social and economic transformation. This will ensure the protection of human rights in the court setting. In addition, it also provides equal access to a fair trial in terms of effective communication. “The fact that this is a first in the republic, speaks volumes for the extent of the commitment of collective leadership to realise the transformation agenda,” he said.


 

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