University councils 'need upgrading'

Until recently, university councils did not have a collective voice. But the new University Council Chairs Forum South Africa, or UCCF-SA, aims to rectify this. The vision of the organisation is to promote cooperative governance and transformation of universities, within a unified coordinated higher education system, writes Jairam Reddy for Mail & Guardian.

The role of councils, in particular their fiduciary responsibility and meeting the developmental challenges of the National Development Plan, is of paramount importance. And yet during the past 20 years, four successive ministers of higher education have had to deploy assessors and administrators at universities, which is indicative of system turbulence.

The most important remit of the UCCF-SA is the capacity building or continuous development of its members. Higher Education South Africa's analysis of the assessor reports points to the lack of experience of council members, poor chairing of meetings, failure to follow procedures and confusion between institutional and sectoral interests.
Full report on the Mail & Guardian site