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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

Odeion String Quartet receives international acclaim
2014-12-22

 

The Odeion String Quartet (OSQ) is a flagship of the UFS and symbolises the university’s commitment to the arts. Most recently, the OSQ walked away with the award for Best Classical Music Performance at the 2014 Kanna ceremony.

It was established in 1991 as a permanent full-time resident string quartet –   at present the only resident string quartet at a South African university – and functions as an independent academic department at the UFS.

The members of the quartet are Samson Diamond (leader and first violin), Sharon de Kock (violin), Jeanne-Louise Moolman (viola) and Anmari van der Westhuizen (cello). They have an extensive national and international background and are highly regarded in music circles as soloists and chamber musicians. The members of the quartet play an important strategic role in the development of symphony orchestra music and in classical music training in the Free State. They are exemplary teachers and attract students from all over the country. The Junior Odeion String Quartet and Odeion Sinfonia provide a unique chamber music training experience to selected students.

They regularly perform to critical acclaim in all the major music centres in South Africa, as well as in SADC countries such as Zimbabwe and Zambia. During 2013 they performed at concerts in Belgium, Germany and Switzerland, where they received standing ovations and very positive reviews.

The quartet is also set on giving back to musical communities around the country, with workshops offering guidance on playing techniques and life-skills that are essential for young people who intend to pursue a career in the music sector.

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