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More robust, student-centric learning environment heads agenda on day two of the PVC Lekgotla

At the forefront of discussions on the second day of the Principal and Vice-Chancellor’s (PVC’s) Lekgotla were critical areas aimed at enhancing student success and enrolment planning, optimising of support services and fostering a culture of institutional change, among other topics.


Unisa Principal and Vice-Chancellor, Prof Puleng LenkaBula

Prof Moloko Sepota, Acting Registrar, acknowledged the increasingly competitive landscape of student recruitment, and highlighted the importance of robust student support services, efficient ICT systems and rapid response times in attracting top applicants. He outlined several achievements, including allowing students nearing completion to tackle missing pre-requisites, financial aid for students close to graduation and increased minimum payment flexibility for registrations

Sepota acknowledged the shortfalls in student enrolment, ranging from socioeconomic issues and general student support, but mentioned that plans are afoot to remedy this.


From left: Prof Moloko Sepota, Acting Registrar; Prof Zodwa Motsa-Madikane, Vice-Principal: Teaching and Learning, Community Engagement and Student Support; and Mathabo Nakene-Mginqi, Chief Information Officer / Vice-Principal: Information and Communication Technology

Sepota said that students with four or less modules left to finish their qualifications were allowed to take the missed modules. In addition, Sepota affirmed that the Unisa Foundation helped fund students with three or less modules to finish their qualifications, and that the Finance Department has increased the minimum payment shortfall to enable more registrations to be finalised, among other achievements.

Prof Motsa-Madikane, Vice-Principal: Teaching and Learning, Community Engagement and Student Support, mentioned that the Academic Development Open Virtual Hub (ADOVH) is making tremendous strides in reskilling students through digital 21st century skills, and that the Directorate for Counselling and Career Development (DCCD), which provides career, academic and personal guidance and counselling to prospective and registered students, has made significant progress in enhancing their menu services through in-person and virtual modes.

Commenting on progress made, Motsa-Madikane stated that there is the multilingual language policy in teaching and learning, which is being deliberated, to advance cognitive engagement for students in order to enhance throughput rates.

On improvement plans, Mosa-Madikane said that there will be Product Quality Management (PQM) revitalisation indaba to look at the university’s programmes in tandem with the changing educational landscape.

Regarding ICT, Mathabo Nakene-Mginqi, Chief Information Officer / Vice-Principal: Information and Communication Technology, said that the Student Information System was available 100% of the time during the 2024 registration, and that Multifactor Authentication (MFA) was launched to bolster security controls for addressing student data leakage, among other projects. Currently, Nakene-Mginqi said that they are working towards providing students with uncapped Wi-Fi.

The Lekgotla's second day underscored Unisa's dedication to providing a supportive and dynamic learning environment for its students, ensuring its continued success in the competitive higher education landscape.


Attendees at the PVC Lekgotla

Unisa remains steadfast in its dedication to embody the essence of the African university in the service of humanity. Under the leadership of the PVC, the institution consistently convenes Makgotlas to deliberate on crucial strategic issues. Over the past three years spanning from 2021 to 2023, Unisa's leadership has demonstrated a unified commitment to extensively exploring strategic initiatives aimed at elevating the university to a beacon of academic distinction. Moving forward, Unisa is poised to continue its journey towards academic excellence, guided by its unwavering principles and collective vision for a brighter future for its students, staff, and other stakeholders.

Read also: PVC Lekgotla reflects progress, identifies challenges and explores solutions

* By Godfrey Madibane, Acting Journalist, Department of Institutional Advancement

** Photography by Shooheima Champion, Multimedia Centre

Publish date: 2024/03/22

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