UFH Council Concludes successful two-day workshop

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The University of Fort Hare (UFH) Council plays a crucial role in exercising general oversight over the institution and its affairs. To ensure this role continues to be carried out diligently, council members met over two days (28th February and 1st March) and held a successful workshop.

During the meeting, the members engaged in open-ended robust discussions on progressive issues such as leading a changing university, university autonomy and accountability.

The meeting also delved into some significant occurrences that made headlines recently, such as the meeting with President Cyril Ramaphosa in regards to the President assisting with providing protection and support to the University following the assassinations and attempted assassinations of staff.

The members also assessed their performance by completing a Department of Higher Education Training (DHET) scorecard and the Chief Financial Officer, Mr Charles Matumba gave a presentation on financial sustainability.

According to the Chairperson of Council, Bishop Ivan Abrahams, the engagement was a great success.

“There was a lot of positive energy from Council Members as we looked at the kind of leadership is needed for a university to thrive at this time. One of the biggest debates was on the issue of accountability and autonomy, what it means, especially in light of the events that transpired in the past few months.”

“I am positive that we are on an even keel in terms of achieving our vision and mission. As we journey towards the future, I am filled with confidence when I look at the gifts, skills, and intellectual capacity that we have in council,” said Bishop Abrahams.

Installed in 2020, the current council oversaw the development of the new strategic plan, Towards a Decade of Renewal, 2022-2026 -a programme that has already delivered significant outcomes. This includes the University receiving a historic clean audit opinion for the 2021 financial year and the approval of 25 policies in the last two years.  These policies include a whistleblowing policy and a fraud prevention policy, as well as critical finance policies and academic policies.

Summarizing the outcomes of the workshop, Vice-Chancellor Prof Sakhela Buhlungu said different opinions were expressed and addressed, however, convergence was reached on a lot of the fundamental issues.

"In the midst of the tragedies and challenges we have endured, this workshop has shown us that, while we are in the process of healing the momentum of Renewal has not stopped," said the VC.