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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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Drama students awarded National Arts Council bursaries
2016-05-04

Description: Drama students awarded National Arts Council bursaries  Tags: Drama students awarded National Arts Council bursaries

The National Arts Council (NAC) has awarded R100 000 to 10 Drama students at the University of the Free State (UFS). Eight years after its establishment in 2005, the NAC has partnered our university in funding academically-deserving students needing assistance with tuition. To date, our undergraduate students have benefitted from more than R800 000.

Prof Nico Luwes, Head of the Department of Drama and Theatre Arts, who applies to the NAC at the end of each year on behalf of students, welcomes the funds: “Quite a lot of our students would not have been able to complete their studies without assistance from the bursary scheme.”

As a result of this financial injection, South African schools also gain. “Some students then enrol for a higher education diploma, and they then teach Arts and Culture at schools. Hence, there is a whole new generation of Arts and Culture teachers who are now entering the school system,” said Prof Luwes.

Mbuyiselo Nqodi, a second-year BA Drama and Theatre Arts student, would not have been able to enrol at the university in 2015, had it not been for the NAC.  “Without the bursary, I would not have been admitted into the university. It helped a lot because R10 000 can go a long way.”

Pursuing its mandate to support and develop South Africa’s arts, culture and heritage sector, the NAC awarded 117 bursaries to arts students and tertiary institutions for the year.  A total of R5 million has been allocated for 2016, a 10% increase on the previous financial year.

According to the NAC Chief Executive Officer, Rosemary Mangope, one of the aims of the NAC is to provide support to students who will contribute to the arts and culture industry in a meaningful and sustainable manner.

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