White Paper Institutional Operating Plan 2016 2020 - UWC

 
Institutional Operating Plan 2016 - 2020

White Paper
Contents
  Two                         Twenty-Nine
  2030 Vision                 Enabling Goal Areas

  Three                       Thirty
  Preface                     Goal Area 4: People Framework

  Eight                       Thirty-Six
  Mission and Core Values     Goal Area 5: Financial Viability

  Eleven                      Forty-One
  Core Goal Areas             Goal Area 6: Enhancing UWC’s
                              Standing and Profile

  Twelve
  Goal Area 1: The Student    Forty-Six
  Experience                  Goal Area 7: Development of
                              the Campus and Surrounding
                              Areas
  Eighteen
  Goal Area 2: Learning and
  Teaching                    Fifty-Three
                              Goal Area 8: Leadership,
                              Management and Governance
  Twenty-Three
  Goal Area 3: Research and
  Innovation
UWC 2030 VISION
                               In keeping with South Africa’s need to make the best use of its talent pool
                               and to be globally competitive, UWC will be (and will be widely recognised
                               as) a vibrant intellectual space where people engage with matters of
                               real significance at the highest levels of competence. As a research-led
                               university, UWC will have:

                               •    a successful first degree programme attracting students from a range
                                    of backgrounds and nationalities,

                               •    respected postgraduate and research programmes in strategically
                                    selected spheres,

                               •    a substantial place in the knowledge economy in partnership with other
                                    research institutions, industry and the state,

                               •    a well-developed set of productive relationships with other academic
                                    and research bodies, government at various levels and the professions,
                                    and

                               •    a mature and growing network of active partnerships with other
                                    universities, globally and in Africa.

                               Through its activities and practices, UWC will strive to be an effective
                               partner in the larger national project of building a sustainable and
                               equitable non-racial, non-sexist, democratic, multilingual society where
                               people use their freedom to good effect and honour their responsibility
                               for hard work, social justice and nurturing the environment. Based on
                               this vision, UWC will also have a significant role in the new era of Africa’s
                               development.

2   University of the Western Cape White Paper 2016 - 2020
PREFACE

This Institutional Operating Plan (IOP) articulates a broad,    and intellectually anaemic.”        The social engagement
integrated, operational framework for 2016-2020                 envisaged here draws on the full range of intellectual
within a strategic interpretation of UWC’s role as a public     resources in pursuing national and global transformative
South African university. It is marked by cross-cutting         goals and balancing inherent tensions. Outcomes may
concerns with national transformation and social justice,       range from interventions which advance development
inclusiveness and diversity, sustainability and innovation,     in communities through to enabling students from
the need for local and global partnerships, and the             educationally disadvantaged backgrounds to succeed;
underlying principle that resources follow strategies.          from improving public health to creative enjoyment
The plan builds on excellent work which is being done,          of diversity in culture and thought. The intellectual
but also reflects a concern with ongoing improvement            foundation of all such engagement is understanding
and with responding creatively to the challenges of a           our complex and fast-changing environment from
rapidly changing environment. Accordingly, most of the          a range of perspectives so as to be able to respond
strategies and activities described in the IOP for 2010         innovatively and with integrity to its needs. This calls
to 2014/5 are maintained, with some being modified              for excellence: excellence in critical engagement with
in the light of experience and a further group being            national and global challenges, excellence in scholarship,
“game-changers” addressing newly defined needs.                 excellence in pursuing knowledge through the rigour
The strategies that are maintained are in most instances        of disciplines, and excellence in critically and ethically
slightly refocused to deepen the approach and to                deploying knowledge across disciplines. There can be
account for what has already been achieved in those             no compromise on the aspiration to excellence, and all
areas. The “game-changers” are identified and outlined          strategies are to be read as informed with this awareness.
here. They will necessarily be fully developed outside
                                                                Since the last IOP, UWC has been formally acknowledged
of the IOP process with identified champions, detailed
                                                                as a research-intensive institution, leading the nation in
implementation plans and timeframes.
                                                                research impact in several spheres, and having a large
Fundamental to the plan is the understanding of UWC             and growing postgraduate community. Maintaining
as an institution driven by intellectual imperatives. In the    and developing this position requires rigorous attention
words of Vice-Chancellor Tyrone Pretorius, “A university        to staffing, facilities, and practices, as well as to
... has to be an unapologetically intellectual community        national and international research partnerships and
with an ongoing interest in the significance of knowledge       to competitiveness in funding applications. However,
for our country and world.” Or, in the words of a past          UWC’s research-intensive standing is sustainable only if
Vice-Chancellor, the late Professor Jakes Gerwel: In the        it is also a research-led university. This has implications
absence of “a perceived and experienced nexus with              for the nature of its academic programmes, and for
a real and shared-in world, a university is emasculated         the basis of its partnerships and wider engagements. A

                                                               2016 - 2020 White Paper University of the Western Cape   3
research-led institution has to be developing research         responsibility for progress. This focus has implications
        capacity in all its students and academic staff, both          for staffing and staff development, particularly in regard
        through the demands which its curriculum makes and             to appropriate use of digital media and for developing
        through policies and practices which support such              service-learning partnerships. It also has implications
        development. And, in exploring partnerships outside            for establishing an effective balance between guided
        the academic sphere, research and a sense of the               socialisation into a learning community and independent
        relevance and possible applications of that research are       learning, and for student access to appropriate media on
        primarily what such a university has to offer. This applies    an adequate scale. And it has implications for the ways
        particularly to social and technological innovation, and       in which the broadening, inclusive intellectual climate
        so to the university’s ability to be a significant player in   of the University is cultivated, e.g. through community
        the global knowledge economy.                                  engagement and work experience programmes, debates
                                                                       and lectures, exhibitions, travel opportunities, sport, field
        It is a distinctive feature of UWC that it is both research
                                                                       trips, films, and music and drama performances.
        intensive and one of South Africa’s most successful
        institutions in providing meaningful access in terms           In the last IOP, UWC defined itself as an engaged
        of South Africa’s transformation imperatives. Since            university, rather than as an HDI or a market-driven
        the last IOP, its leading position in this field has been      institution. In doing so, it rejected the binary opposition
        acknowledged at a high level nationally. Effective inclusion   of engaged and ivory tower as unhelpful. Rather, it saw
        is probably the greatest challenge to South Africa’s Higher    the excellence of intellectual work as promoted by the
        Education system as it steadily expands. If access is not      challenge of making sense of a complex and changing
        followed by inclusion and success on a significant scale,      world. UWC holds to that view. Connectedness and
        the system will have failed, with dire consequences for        engagement in various forms are critical for the 21st
        South Africa’s future. UWC’s approach has a distinctive        century university. They generate a number of tensions
        nuance: in providing meaningful access, it has over            which are particularly stimulating and important to the
        many years focused on intellectual challenges rather           intellectual project.
        than on backlogs, with the understanding that students
                                                                       Some complex connectedness and engagement is
        are more receptive to forward-looking, problem-solving
                                                                       institutional:
        strategies than to notions of catching up. In addressing
        these issues since the last IOP, a committed focus on          •   UWC is one of Cape Town’s anchor institutions:

        improvement has been accompanied by disciplined                    a major and reliable player in the Western Cape

        pursuit of the scholarship of teaching and learning. In            region’s social and economic life. However, the

        response to emerging 21st century requirements, this               burden of an HDI history often obscures this fact

        IOP has a particular focus on skilledness in learning as           to the considerable disadvantage of the institution.

        shaping the student’s academic profile and efficacy as a           UWC needs increasingly to be seen as an anchor

        researcher and scholar, but also as promoting skilfulness          institution. A university’s recognised engagement

        in engaging and adapting and innovating and taking                 with its local environment - with communities, with

4   University of the Western Cape White Paper 2016 - 2020
the city and with industry - is a vital factor in enabling    Digital connectedness across a range of media is
    it to meet its mandate. It affects its ability to remain      a characteristic of the 21st century university in
    intellectually engaged, to attract and retain talent,         a digital age. This connectedness facilitates rapid
    to build partnerships, to secure adequate financial           building of networks, efficient relationships with
    and other support, and to sustain an intellectually           academic, industrial and community partners, rich
    challenging environment. Working towards being                internationalisation,      making       wider      knowledge
    perceived more clearly as an anchor institution               resources available, and providing for more frequent
    in the city and advancing the ways in which the               interaction between teachers and students. However,
    University functions as an anchor institution, vital to       the constant connectedness of the digital world
    the region’s welfare, is a high priority for UWC.             introduces significant skills challenges and requires new

•   UWC is also a national university, an important part of       forms of social engagement. Failure to attend to these

    the national system of higher education as a research         can readily result in digital exclusion and disaffection.

    intensive university. It draws students from across           Addressing these issues requires strategic attention to

    the country and is a leading player in major national         implementation goals and to the infrastructure and

    projects and in a number of disciplines. Maintaining          training on which attaining them depends.

    and extending its national reciprocal network
                                                                  Other forms of engagement and connectedness critical
    with other universities, research partners, research
                                                                  for the 21st century university relate to the ways in
    councils, industries, donors and communities requires
                                                                  which people interact in pursuit of common objectives.
    concerted attention in the period covered by this IOP.
                                                                  In a situation where alienation and disengagement
•   International connectedness raises an institution’s
                                                                  across the nation must be attended to, these forms
    visibility and stature, improves the chances of
                                                                  of connectedness can play a critical role in national
    securing large-scale joint funding for research, and
                                                                  transformation. While formal leadership has a key
    broadens the experience of staff and students,
                                                                  responsibility for fostering ethical community around the
    equipping them better to participate in the global
                                                                  intellectual project, the following forms of connectedness
    knowledge economy. It also opens the way to
                                                                  can be achieved at UWC only through a concerted effort
    engagement as partners in addressing the global
                                                                  from all formal structures of the university.
    challenges of our time, like climate change,
                                                                  •    A university is a community which finds its
    food security, and a sense of common humanity.
                                                                       coherence around a dynamic intellectual project. It
    This requires strategic development of UWC’s
                                                                       is in joint, ongoing, critical engagement with this
    approaches to internationalisation, strengthening
                                                                       project, which has constantly to be foregrounded
    existing major partnerships, building on functional
                                                                       in various ways, that a university community is
    links, and giving focused attention to expanding
                                                                       established and its boundaries are extended. The
    relationships with universities in the developing
                                                                       seriousness of the intellectual enterprise generates
    world, with a particular focus on Africa.
                                                                       an ethical community.

                                                                 2016 - 2020 White Paper University of the Western Cape   5
•    Education for a rapidly transforming society                   the discussions and draft documents from which the
             necessarily     involves    building    a       culture   of   IOP has been distilled. The protest highlighted both the
             inclusiveness that values diversity and connects               urgency of transformation projects and the risks to and
             people in new ways. This has large implications for            vulnerability of institutions under pressure to accede to
             holistic student development and for the manner                short-term demands.
             in which interactions are initiated and pursued in
                                                                            Transformation is at the heart of UWC’s mission. It is
             and from the campus.
                                                                            strongly embedded in its history as a public institution
        •    Location in active professional or business networks
                                                                            which has been actively working for the public good
             is vital for young graduates and particularly for
                                                                            through its commitment to the transformation of the
             people from socially disadvantaged backgrounds
                                                                            country, pre- and post-apartheid. Transformation is
             who are otherwise often socially excluded in
                                                                            woven into UWC’s intellectual project and is also evident
             unremarked ways. Assisting students to become
                                                                            in the rich diversity of its student and staff composition.
             connected in relevant ways is an important
                                                                            However, the ongoing transformation of higher education
             responsibility for each academic programme.
                                                                            in South Africa remains important, both as part of the

        A university and its members need to be widely                      broader political, social and economic transformation

        connected, but the notion of the University as a                    of our country, and as agents of that transformation.

        connector is also important and a role that will be                 Higher education is not only being transformed: it has

        further explored during this IOP period. UWC is well                huge potential as a powerful agent of transformation.

        located, physically, historically and in terms of its core          Through our practices and the way we make sense of

        intellectual focus, to play an important role in bringing           our knowledge generation and learning promotion roles

        people, communities, ideas and even ideologies                      we can either reproduce the patterns of inequality that

        together around the search to build a better and more               continue to shape our society, or make change evidently

        inclusive society.                                                  sensible and productive.

        At this point, it is important to note that the process of          UWC’s historical position and its ongoing focus on

        preparing this IOP coincided with the national student              equitable and affordable access positions the university

        protest action under the banner #feesmustfall. This                 well to take forward its focus on transformation in this

        resulted in the IOP process being halted, to be completed           IOP. Accordingly, transformation is a crosscutting theme

        only in 2016. It also brought a number of important                 in this plan. UWC strives to be a significant agent of

        societal concerns into sharp focus nationally, many of              transformation by playing a distinctive intellectual and

        them beyond the scope of the University to deal with.               academic role in helping to build an equitable, just and

        Much has been written and will continue to be written               dynamic South Africa.

        about the student protest action. The IOP is not the
                                                                            A concern with sustainability is evidence of this
        appropriate platform to explore this in any detail. Many
                                                                            larger transformational concern. Sustainability is not
        of the social concerns had already been anticipated in

6   University of the Western Cape White Paper 2016 - 2020
primarily a technical or environmental matter. It is a        staff members and three campus-wide IOP planning
social necessity that speaks to a vision of the future in     workshops. Led by members of the University executive,
which elements critical to that future are balanced. It       12 Focus Groups were established, providing input on:
requires the University to engage critically with its own     The Student experience; Enrolment; Teaching, Learning
institutional practices in securing the sustainability of     and the 21st century graduate; Research; Innovation;
the institution in the long term. Lasting transformation      Internationalisation; Human Capital; the Financial
requires rigorous attention to sustainability in the          Framework; UWC’s public profile; UWC in the digital
following broad areas:                                        age; Infrastructure Development; and Leadership. The

•   Attracting and retaining staff and students               outcomes of these processes are now captured in this

•   The workplace                                             IOP White Paper, informing the strategic objectives.

•   Teaching, learning and research
                                                              Leadership at all levels, including Council and Senate,
•   The natural environment                                   is critical in carrying forward and continuing to give
•   The cultural environment                                  substance to a plan of this nature. Much of what is
•   The built and ICT environment                             planned here will have a momentum of its own, which

•   Financing and economic management                         will be monitored and steered in measurable ways.

•   Governance and decision-making in the long-term           That monitoring and steering is a collective leadership

    public interest.                                          responsibility, so a key priority is building a community
                                                              of leaders who respect one another and work jointly
This IOP is the product of substantial work. Universities     to implement and adapt. The IOP has been prepared
achieve strategic coherence when their core purposes          with integrity and will serve as a guiding framework
are agreed and when what is necessary to achieve              throughout the period. However, the environment is
those purposes has been explored and planned. To              changing so fast that ethical responsiveness will almost
this end, UWC’s leadership devoted sustained effort           certainly lead to its being modified before the end of
to framing preliminary thinking on how to build on            that time. The vision of dynamic engagement has to
its deep intellectual tradition and its strengths while       be kept in focus as circumstances change, and it is a
it repositions itself boldly as a distinctive 21st century    basic leadership role to monitor and analyse progress,
institution. Following the preparation of a number            provoke new responses to changing circumstances, be
of number of position papers, a Green Paper was               open to shifting boundaries and redefinition of goals,
developed    to   stimulate   campus-wide      discussion     and make sure that new and emerging responses are
towards the preparation of a new IOP. Continuity was          aligned to the larger vision.
signalled by working from the three core goals and
five enabling goals of previous plans to frame high-
level strategic priorities. The Green Paper process
included gathering responses from across the campus
community via an online portal, interviews with various

                                                             2016 - 2020 White Paper University of the Western Cape   7
MISSION AND CORE VALUES

        The University of the Western Cape is a national                       To this end, we interact and work with each
        university, alert to its African and international                     other and with external players, building robust
        context as it strives to be a place of quality, and                    partnerships within which we are able to address
        a place to grow from hope to action through                            tough issues, speak directly about concerns,
        knowledge. It is committed to excellence in                            and develop ideas and proposals in terms of a
        teaching, learning and research, to nurturing the                      sophisticated sense of realities.
        cultural diversity of South Africa, and to responding              4. We expect high standards of integrity, ethics
        in critical and creative ways to the needs of a society                and respect from one another across the
        in transition. Drawing on its proud experience in                      institution. Accordingly, we are committed to
        the liberation struggle, the University is aware of                    equity, diversity, inclusivity and fairness, and
        having a distinctive academic role in helping build                    seek to nurture and build on our diverse cultural
        an equitable and dynamic society.                                      heritage. We honour collegiality and a climate
                                                                               of critical professionalism among staff. We also
        This broad statement of our mission is underpinned by
                                                                               promote high standards of service provision that
        the following values:
                                                                               require continuous improvement.
        1. We nurture democratic leadership and innovative
                                                                           5. We place a high premium on collaboration, team
             problem solving. This means that we honour and
                                                                               work, accountability and shared responsibility.
             promote      conscious,     values-based,       integrative
                                                                               Accordingly, we work with each other and with
             leadership as a key means of aligning action
                                                                               external groups in ways that are mutually beneficial,
             with principled vision, and of creating a caring,
                                                                               mutually empowering and mutually responsible,
             productive and respectful culture.
                                                                               and that speak of caring and connection.
        2. We respect and strive for excellence in teaching and
                                                                           6. We seek to communicate well within the
             learning and in research. To this end we encourage
                                                                               institution, informing one another of what we are
             a reflective culture among all members of the
                                                                               doing, giving due prominence to achievements,
             University community, rooted in taking responsibility
                                                                               drawing one another to significant intellectual,
             for excellence. More formally, we critically review
                                                                               cultural and sporting events on campus, and
             what we have done and assess ourselves, applying
                                                                               equipping one another to speak with confidence
             our own and international benchmarks and using
                                                                               about the University to external audiences.
             the results to make us more efficient and effective.
                                                                           7. We seek the perspective of others and value their
             Finally, recognising that we need to differentiate in
                                                                               good opinion. Accordingly, we acknowledge a
             order to excel, we aim to be leaders in niche areas of
                                                                               communal responsibility to promote an appropriate
             excellence while maintaining good standards overall.
                                                                               image of UWC through the reflective ways in which
        3. We cultivate a socially responsive, people-
                                                                               we respond to others and to the major challenges
             centred approach to education that encourages
                                                                               facing our society, through the confident and ethical
             our graduates to engage with the challenges of
                                                                               ways in which we conduct our relationships, and
             the day and to make powerful contributions to
                                                                               through the pride with which we speak about the
             building an equitable and sustainable society.
                                                                               University’s vision and its achievements.

8   University of the Western Cape White Paper 2016 - 2020
CORE GOAL AREAS

      2016 - 2020 White Paper University of the Western Cape   9
GOAL AREA 1: THE STUDENT EXPERIENCE

        To provide UWC students with a meaningful                        UWC is currently in the middle of a six-year enrolment
        and stimulating university experience through                    cycle. It requires the University not only to grow its
        a strategic approach to student enrolment                        student body, particularly at the postgraduate level, but
        management and the provision of enabling and                     also consciously to change its distinctive profile in terms
        relevant co-curriculum opportunities.                            of academic field, programme type and demography.
                                                                         Important progress has been made, particularly towards
        UWC has a long-standing commitment to providing
                                                                         building a critical mass of postgraduate students in
        epistemological access to higher education. Integral to
                                                                         identified niche areas. The University has also been able to
        this commitment is a concern that students should not
                                                                         sustain a more strategic approach to enrolment planning
        only be able to enter higher education but also have
                                                                         at faculty level, and to increase capacity by strategic
        every opportunity to excel in their studies. Successful
                                                                         improvements in staffing and in the development of
        students graduating from UWC need to be well-versed
                                                                         infrastructure, areas directly affected by an increase in
        in their disciplines, broadly educated, and skilful at
                                                                         student numbers. UWC is set to continue on this positive
        applying and extending knowledge. They also need
                                                                         trajectory. However, it recognises significant contextual
        significant social capital. Attaining these characteristics
                                                                         factors that both affect the realisation of its goals and
        has important practical implications. In this regard,
                                                                         offer new opportunities. Some of these factors currently
        well-planned management of student entrance into
                                                                         impacting on higher education enrolment are:
        the institution and of opportunities to engage in its
                                                                         •   national student protest about affordability;
        academic and communal life are essential.
                                                                         •   the human resource demands of the National

        The    University’s   enrolment      mandate        from   the       Development Plan;

        Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET)               •   an underperforming schooling system;
        (its Enrolment Plan), requires it to manage student              •   the shrinking pool of learners doing Science and
        enrolment and throughput in line with nationally agreed              Mathematics at school;
        targets and system-wide planning. UWC’s response                 •   growing youth unemployment;
        goes beyond compliance.          A strategic approach to
                                                                         •   limited financial support for qualifying students
        managing student entrance and participation is an
                                                                             who do not have the means to support themselves
        important factor in enabling the University to meet its
                                                                             in their studies;
        obligations as a public higher education institution in
                                                                         •   pressure for mission clarity of post-school institutions;
        South Africa and to do so with intellectual and social
                                                                         •   increased competition for qualifying students; a
        integrity.
                                                                             new funding framework supportive of institutional
                                                                             differentiation; and

10 University of the Western Cape White Paper 2016 - 2020
•   new    modes     of   delivery    using    information    personal experiences, social interactions and academic
    technology – blended learning and an expansion            engagement, all of which are influenced by new ways of
    of distance learning mandates.                            thinking and rapid change. Each of these areas needs to
                                                              be recognised and understood if students are to develop
A   strategic   approach     to      student    enrolment
                                                              and grow holistically. Among other things, this implies
management and the student experience over the
                                                              that the classroom and the broader campus environment
next five years involves giving particular attention to
                                                              need to be developed as complementary learning spaces.
building capacity at all levels to mitigate the risks and
use the opportunities that emerge from this context.          The co-curriculum is crucial this regard. It involves formal
Developing the University’s capacity to respond               and informal practices and interventions to support and
in innovative ways to the opportunities that arise            facilitate student learning and development outside
creates possibilities for enhancing its distinctiveness,      the classroom. It has been argued above that the co-
especially through postgraduate growth in its niche           curriculum is central to UWC students’ developing the
areas of excellence and through the alignment of its          kinds of attributes that will enable them to pursue their
undergraduate programme planning with these areas.            careers with confidence when they graduate and to play
                                                              a valuable role in society. Enhancing learning as a sense-
Meaningful access is a holistic matter integral to the
                                                              making experience through a co-curriculum which both
University’s intellectual project. Students need to be
                                                              draws on the diversity of student backgrounds and
supported to develop a new sense of agency as active
                                                              interests and exposes them to the intellectual demands
and responsible members of an intellectual community:
                                                              of a professional environment is an ongoing project
a community marked by rigorous engagement with
                                                              embedded in UWC’s strategic intentions.
academic knowledge and use of it to understand the
larger society and address its needs. There has to be         The    University   has    institutionalised   structures   to
dedicated, ongoing attention to building and sustaining       implement and give effect to these intentions. Signifying
an enabling learning environment where: academic              the new thrust was the establishment of a position of
and support staff are able to effectively engage with a       Deputy-Vice Chancellor: Student Development and
new generation of students; and where all students            Support. This went along with a reconfigured Centre for
are able to participate in their academic studies with a      Student Support Services and an ongoing programme
growing sense of relevance and obtain the highest levels      of realignment and strengthening of student support
of knowledge and skill that they can use as a basis for       systems. This process of prioritisation and realignment
fulfilling their future roles in society and becoming         has been gratifyingly fruitful. Important progress has
lifelong learners. Such an environment honours the            been made towards: expanding the range of co-
fact that effective student learning happens through          curricular offerings to reach a more diverse group of
both formal and informal learning experiences, on and         students; establishing clearer conceptual alignment across
off campus. Effective learning, in other words, is multi-     different initiatives and practices; building awareness of
dimensional in nature, actively drawing on students’          the importance of the co-curriculum in faculty planning;

                                                             2016 - 2020 White Paper University of the Western Cape 11
integrating activities conducive to building UWC graduate        work towards greater alignment between the
        attributes; and giving increased attention to building a         formal academic curriculum and the co-curriculum
        physical environment conducive to learning, living and           so that the graduate attributes UWC aims at
        working well. Every advance has led to new recognition           developing will systematically shape and serve as
        of the complexity and continuing importance of the task.         an important narrative of the student experience.
                                                                         We will work towards preparing our graduates to
        Supporting and informing these developments at UWC
                                                                         enter the world of work as “T-shaped” individuals.
        and strengthening its standing as a research-intensive
                                                                         T-shaped people have both sufficient depth in their
        university has been the progress towards developing
                                                                         discipline and extensive breadth in deploying the
        the area of student development and support as a
                                                                         range of skills that 21st century society demands.
        focus of scholarship. Key here has been UWC’s role
                                                                         In effect this refers to skillfulness and not skills.
        in launching and running the Journal for Student
                                                                         Faculties, in particular, are increasingly contributing
        Affairs in Africa, undertaking a number of research
                                                                         to extending the learning experience of their
        initiatives to build new knowledge and inform practice,
                                                                         students   through     exciting   and    intellectually
        and establishing significant national, regional and
                                                                         challenging co-curricular opportunities.
        international partnerships in the field. Its involvement
        in these important networks has signalled UWC’s               2. Build and enhance a supportive, inclusive
        growing standing in building new understandings and              environment for all students that address
        practices around student development and support.                barriers to success, respects diversity and
        This scholarly focus will be further strengthened.               creates a sense of belonging.
                                                                         An institution’s culture is reflected in the values it
        UWC will:
                                                                         seeks to uphold. Among the attributes which will
                                                                         require particular attention because of problems in
        1. Enhance learning opportunities and support
                                                                         the national social climate are tolerance and creative,
             an exceptional student experience through
                                                                         respectful engagement based on a perception of
             co-curricular provision where students can
                                                                         diversity as an asset. Increased attention will be
             develop their full potential to be excellent
                                                                         given to encouraging interpersonal and intergroup
             professionals and responsible citizens.
                                                                         relationships that foster an inclusive, connected and
             UWC will continue to develop classroom and campus
                                                                         purposeful environment and strengthen a culture of
             as complementary learning spaces, recognising
                                                                         equity and diversity on campus, supported by rigorous
             that a dynamic, responsive and supportive co-
                                                                         interaction and debate within a framework of respect
             curriculum substantially assists students to feel part
                                                                         and tolerance. This will involve engagement with
             of the university community and to thrive in it, so
                                                                         students from all backgrounds, including vulnerable
             that they can leave the university confident in their
                                                                         groups and some who are often viewed hard to reach.
             ability to engage with a fast-changing and complex
                                                                         In addition, safety and students’ well-being on
             world. With this in mind, UWC will continue to
                                                                         and off university campuses have become issues

12 University of the Western Cape White Paper 2016 - 2020
of widespread concern in recent years. Having an                 developing a lively understanding of the successful
exceptional student experience requires addressing               functioning of a major institution and as preparing
these concerns in systematic and as well as personal             future leaders. UWC will work in partnership
ways. The University will develop a range of means               with faculties, peer programmes, key student
to engage students, gain a better understanding of               groups and clubs and societies to provide multiple
students’ experiences, expectations and aspirations.             leadership opportunities for individuals and provide
The University will actively promote collaboration and           opportunities for appropriate representation. These
dialogue between students, support services and                  initiatives will be aimed at developing strong student
academic areas around key issues and build agency                leadership at all levels of the institution’s functioning
to equip students to respond to these demands.                   and will seek to better align student leadership
In addition, the University will engage a number                 development intentions.
of role-players such as the City of Cape Town and
                                                            3. Provide students the opportunity for meaningful
local agencies to actively promote off-campus
                                                                 engagement and connect with the campus
safety of students and staff in neighbourhoods and
                                                                 community and its environments.
to improve safe public transport to the campus.
                                                                 The University appreciates the value of residence
Student involvement in campus activities plays an
                                                                 life in building a strong university community and
important role in building a dynamic campus life
                                                                 in support of students’ academic success. Students
and a better student experience. The University will
                                                                 live and learn in residences, so UWC will significantly
actively promote students’ active participation in
                                                                 increase the number of affordable bed spaces and
sport, culture, volunteering and student societies
                                                                 will continue to develop its residences and build a
as an important vehicle for student development. It
                                                                 distinctive residential environment as important sites
will allow students to meet like-minded people and
                                                                 of academic and intellectual engagement. Sustaining
build existing social skills, especially in facilitating
                                                                 well-managed residences, which offer a nurturing
diverse student interaction and a sense of affinity to
                                                                 environment that promotes academic excellence and
the institution. UWC advanced greatly in this regard
                                                                 cultural and sporting participation will remain a priority
over the period of the last IOP. The establishment
                                                                 in the IOP period. Formal induction programmes
of structures, clubs and societies to promote sport,
                                                                 will continue to be offered to support first-years. At
cultural and other acitivities will continue to receive
                                                                 another level, attention will be given to increasing
specialist attention. All the University’s sporting and
                                                                 residence places during this period. In addition,
cultural codes will be strengthened as far as possible
                                                                 UWC has begun a process of accrediting off-campus
and students’ achievements and experiences will
                                                                 accommodation in terms of the standards promoted
be regularly celebrated through focused channels
                                                                 by the Department of Higher Education and Training.
to instil a sense of personal accomplishment
                                                                 In seeking to prepare graduates who are excellent
and pride in their association with the University.
                                                                 professionals and citizens, the University will seek
Student leadership is valuable experience, both in
                                                                 ways to increase opportunities for students to

                                                           2016 - 2020 White Paper University of the Western Cape 13
experience the world of work and to participate in              themselves more effectively in the campus community
             practical community service. These two poles are                and make the most of their time at University.
             vital to the transformation project. We seek to have            In the past UWC has participated in the national Student
             our graduates enter the world of work imbued                    Engagement Survey. It will continue to develop and
             with a culture of professionalism, critically familiar          manage coordinated student surveys as a valuable
             with the practices and codes of their chosen field.             measure of students’ experience of the University and
             As democratic citizens they have also to develop                of other salient patterns, both inside and outside of
             a sophisticated and sympathetic sense of the                    the classroom. The University will develop the student
             issues facing communities and the ways in which                 experience and engagement as a strategic approach
             meaningful transformation can be brought about.                 to sharpen students’ focus on issues of identity, their
             The University will establish and diversify a diverse           disposition and goals and develop action plans for
             network of employers and alumni and enable students             more meaningful implementation.
             to develop their social and cultural capital from
                                                                          4. Change the size, shape and mix of the student
             such active networks and relationships with others,
                                                                             population and academic programmes.
             including international partners. The University will
                                                                             UWC will continue to systematically influence the
             expand negotiations for appropriate work placement,
                                                                             shape, size and mix of the student body in ways that
             and expand opportunities for entrepreneurship,
                                                                             will distinctly characterise the University and accord
             community engagement and seeking new scope
                                                                             with national planning. At the time of preparing
             for volunteerism and community partnerships.
                                                                             the IOP the DHET, in consultation with universities,
             The innovative and responsible use of ICTs is an
                                                                             had embarked on a process to review projected
             important enabling mechanism for enhancing the
                                                                             enrolment in relation to shrinking resources, academic
             student experience. Of particular concern is that
                                                                             programme development and inadequate growth in
             graduates should leave the university with the attributes
                                                                             infrastructure capacity. In response the University will
             they will require as 21st century citizens and so that co-
                                                                             develop a comprehensive recruitment and retention
             curricular offerings are responsive to the needs of its
                                                                             strategy which, among others, help build greater
             students. Over this IOP period, UWC will enhance the
                                                                             institutional viability. UWC will consolidate the
             experience of students through the innovative use of
                                                                             projected number of first-time entering students,
             digital platforms to focus communications wisely and
                                                                             attract transfer students who have demonstrated
             improve student engagement in targeted ways such
                                                                             outstanding ability to succeed, arrest student attrition
             as on-line communities and study groups to augment
                                                                             and address the barriers to growth in postgraduate
             the student experience and improve the efficiency and
                                                                             and international students. Overall, the implication
             effectiveness of its student development and support
                                                                             is slower growth than originally projected in overall
             systems. The University will also seek through the use
                                                                             headcount enrolment in this period. This will impact
             of digital technologies to deepen student engagement
                                                                             on the projected undergraduate, postgraduate
             with learning and enable students’ to connect
                                                                             ratio. In terms of enrolment by major field of study

14 University of the Western Cape White Paper 2016 - 2020
the proportional targets will remain unchanged. A                     intentions is strongly dependent on administrative
   key strategic lever towards the achievement of its                    systems that function efficiently in support of its
   enrolment mandate is the retention of graduating                      broad academic and support intentions. Particular
   students for enrolment in postgraduate programmes                     attention will be paid over this IOP period to:
   to create a critical mass in niches and areas of
                                                                         •    Strengthening         the   student      enrolment
   postgraduate priority.      In view of UWC’s mandate
                                                                              management system across the institution
   in a differentiated post-school system, the University
                                                                              so that all practices and processes that
   will continue to emphasise postgraduate growth.
                                                                              govern and affect the recruitment, selection,
   The University will review its student recruitment
                                                                              registration,    throughput     and     graduation
   promotional material, related web pages and embark
                                                                              of its students, whether at institutional or
   on innovative marketing strategies to coordinate its
                                                                              faculty level, work in strong alignment and in
   recruitment activities in order to attract undergraduate,
                                                                              pursuit of common intentions and outputs.
   postgraduate      and      international     students     to
                                                                              In addition, attention will be given to the
   strengthen the pool of qualifying applicants. The pool
                                                                              continuous improvement and better alignment
   of international applicants will be enhanced through
                                                                              of all academic administrative processes and
   collaborative relations with other African universities.
                                                                              improved scholarship administration to achieve
   Developing and tracking the effectiveness of UWC’s
                                                                              a seamless service experience for students
   marketing capacity is essential to leverage UWC’s
                                                                              and to support optimal student lifecycle
   points of distinction, niche areas, and cost advantages
                                                                              communication         and   management.          Such
   and to highlight these to prospective students, their
                                                                              aligned practice is important as enhancing the
   parents, alumni, donors and partner institutions.
                                                                              function of the University’s professional services
   The University will also explore opportunities presented
                                                                              and as significantly contributing to richer
   by recent advances in information and communication
                                                                              student experience and academic success.
   technology to explore multiple modes of delivery ,
   especially in selected programme at postgraduate level.               •    Enhancing the organisation and functioning

   While the key initiatives of the University in this area will              of the University’s administrative and business

   seek to support its enrolment mandate, the University                      intelligence systems to illicit information that

   will give special attention to continuing to attract and                   can be used to understand student participation

   retain applicants from diverse backgrounds, and to                         so as to better support the academic project

   recognising and supporting the diversity of its student                    and the strategic intentions underpinning it.

   body as a valuable institutional asset.                               •    Enhancing       the    professional   capacity     of
                                                                              administrative staff so that they can work in
5. Provide optimal support services that enable                               skilled and efficient ways within an appropriate
   excellence in the execution of all academic                                framework of accountability.
   core functions.
   UWC recognises that the success of its strategic

                                                                   2016 - 2020 White Paper University of the Western Cape 15
GOAL AREA 2: LEARNING AND TEACHING

        To provide opportunities for an excellent learning          Technologies [CIECT] and the Director: Community
        and teaching experience that is contextually                Engagement. This has embedded these priorities in the
        responsive to the challenges of globalisation and           planning, delivery and advancement of the teaching
        of a society in transition, and which enhances the          and learning function.
        students’ capacities to be change agents in the
                                                                    These structural changes have been mirrored by strategic
        21st century.
                                                                    changes in processes associated with professional
        In the pursuit of its mission, UWC continues to place       advancement and the recognition of excellence.
        excellence in teaching, in support of effective learning,   These now place excellence in teaching and learning
        among the central concerns of its intellectual project      alongside excellence in research as an institutional
        and at the forefront of its commitment to its students.     goal and a criterion for measuring achievement. For
        Over the last IOP period the University made substantial    example, appointment and promotions guidelines have
        progress towards enhancing its capacity to deliver on       been augmented to include teaching and learning as a
        its teaching and learning mandate and improve on the        key performance area. Equally important to progress
        quality and relevance of its academic programmes.           has been the focused attention given to enhancing the
        Central to this was the strengthening of a range            scholarship of teaching and learning, thus embedding
        of structural and organisational changes initiated          it more fully in the intellectual life of the institution
        just before the last IOP was implemented. These             and reasserting it as an area of institutional excellence.
        changes included the establishment of a Directorate         Dedicated research funding has been provided
        for Teaching and Learning, the appointment of a             and important national and international research
        Director of Teaching and Learning and of Deputy             partnerships have been developed in this area. These
        Deans of Teaching and Learning, and the introduction        developments are seen as especially important to
        of teaching and learning specialists in most of the         advancing UWC’s commitment to being a research-
        faculties. They have been supported and guided in           led university where what happens in the classroom
        their work through Faculty Teaching and Learning            is informed by the research interests and activities of
        Committees and the Senate Teaching and Learning             members of staff who draw on this knowledge in their
        Committee, with the latter bringing faculty leadership      teaching. UWC is committed to student learning as a
        together with other key role players across the             research-led process, so that research is increasingly
        institution whose responsibilities are important to the     prominent as a means of learning. The ideal is that
        teaching and learning function. Especially important        students are thoroughly inducted into research and
        here has been the participation of the Director of the      research principles at undergraduate level to support
        Centre for Innovative Educational and Communication         their ongoing formal and informal learning.

16 University of the Western Cape White Paper 2016 - 2020
Improved access to higher education is meaningless                   in the local and global environments they will enter.
without improved opportunities for success. In addition              Participating with confidence in those environments
to introducing a range of teaching and learning                      also signals the importance of a learning experience
support measures in support of this commitment and                   which     is   international    in   orientation.    Working
strengthening extended curriculum provision across the               towards the internationalisation of the curriculum and
institution, the last five years have also seen significant          providing students with opportunities to engage in
strides being made towards improved teaching practice                learning opportunities with students in other countries,
across the faculties. Building on the understanding that             especially on the African continent, and to practice
learning takes place in a variety of ways and through a              internationalisation at home will be important concerns
variety of modes both inside and outside the classroom,              for the University in moving forward.
these efforts have continued to signal the value and
                                                                     New skills and kinds of knowledge are also needed in
importance of pedagogical practice that acknowledges
                                                                     the world of work and in preparing students to live
students’ real life experiences, the context that has
                                                                     meaningful lives in a fast-changing local and global
shaped these experiences and the shifting expectations
                                                                     context . Graduates are expected to possess a level
that each generation brings to the classroom. In
                                                                     of skilfulness that equips them to adapt fast as the
our context there are particular challenges. These
                                                                     environment changes. But that is not all that is required.
challenges, shaped by both historical and contemporary
                                                                     The 2013 Cape Higher Education Consortium (CHEC)
forces, demand pedagogical practice informed with an
                                                                     study of the employment pathways experienced by
understanding of the complexity of this context, alert
                                                                     2010 graduates across the four universities, showed
to ways in which it may impede or profitably shape
                                                                     clearly how important ‘social capital’ is to gaining
students’ learning, and seeking to nurture the values
                                                                     employment and how disadvantaged the majority
that underpin a socially just society.
                                                                     of UWC students (and of South African students
This context is also marked by the rapid changes                     from similar backgrounds) are in this regard1. In
of the digital era, particularly in and prompted by                  tackling South Africa’s challenges, the UWC academic
communication media.             These changes require the           experience must go beyond developing student
University to deepen its understanding of how they                   skilfulness in using knowledge related to their career
may impact on student learning and thus how lecturers                paths. It must be an experience that builds social
can advance student learning through the creative use                capital and facilitates student pathways into the world
of new kinds of knowledge and the new technologies.                  of work. These goals speak especially to the kind of
UWC therefore accepts the ongoing challenge to                       attributes our students have on leaving the university.
understand better the ways in which learning is enabled              UWC’s Charter of Graduate Attributes, launched
in graduates in the 21st century and thus provide                    during the course of the previous IOP, provides a goals
its students with the kind of learning opportunities                 framework to guide the faculties, and will be regularly
that will equip them to participate with confidence                  reviewed. While much progress has been made, much

1 CHEC (2013). Pathways from University to Work. Cape Town: CHEC.

                                                                    2016 - 2020 White Paper University of the Western Cape 17
still needs to be done towards embedding these               UWC will:
        attributes in the curriculum and ensuring full alignment
                                                                     1. Shape the academic curriculum to support
        across academic programmes. This will receive priority
                                                                        the development of 21st century graduate
        over this IOP period.
                                                                        attributes.
        The progress that the University has made in pursuing           UWC is committed to giving its students every
        these goals was analysed in some depth in UWC’s                 opportunity to acquire the knowledge, skills and
        Institutional Submission to the Higher Education                social capital to be confident 21st century citizens
        Quality Committee (HEQC) for its Quality Enhancement            and professionals when they graduate. They will
        Project (QEP), a national initiative that seeks to enhance      be lifelong learners, displaying an entrepreneurial
        the quality of teaching and learning across the system.         and pioneering spirit and constantly gaining
        Considering its feeder community, the University will           and using new knowledge to adapt in times of
        critically engage the Quality Enhancement Project               rapid change, and alert to the challenges and
        and use the priorities and challenges identified in the         opportunities represented by digital technologies.
        submission to guide the institution’s efforts over the          The academic experience of our students has
        next five years and integrate it into its planning. At the      to enable them to develop the skills to thrive as
        same time, the University will continue to participate          locally and globally engaged citizens, able to make
        actively in the various activities of the QEP, recognising      sense of the changing environment, both in their
        the value that this can add to the institution’s own            immediate context and in the world at large. To this
        efforts and the contribution that UWC is able to make           end, the University is committed to ongoing review
        to broader systemic change.                                     of the UWC Charter of Graduate Attributes and
                                                                        to attention to how they may best be promoted
        Much of the work that needs to be done in moving
                                                                        in the academic curriculum. Especially important
        forward over the next five years and sustaining UWC’s
                                                                        here is the creation of opportunities for authentic
        trajectory of improvement and commitment involves
                                                                        learning, where students are required to actively
        the systematic institutionalisation of the changes that
                                                                        apply their knowledge to real world issues, and
        have been introduced. Central to this is continuing to
                                                                        opportunities are created within their learning
        strengthen the organisational structures and processes
                                                                        experience for them to connect with a range of
        set up to enhance UWC’s teaching and learning
                                                                        professional, business and social communities
        mandate and to embed improved practices into the
                                                                        outside the institution.
        University’s everyday functioning. This is an ongoing
        process. Excellence in teaching and learning requires        2. Promote enhanced learning opportunities
        alertness to new opportunities in a constantly changing         through the innovative use of emerging
        external environment and sustained creative rigour in           technologies .
        responding to them.                                             The technological advances of the ‘digital age’ are
                                                                        fundamentally changing both how students learn

18 University of the Western Cape White Paper 2016 - 2020
and engage with information and what competences               in teaching at UWC. Perhaps the most important
   they will require in a world of work equally                   among them were measures aimed at increased
   influenced by these advances. UWC is committed to              professionalisation of learning and teaching across
   enabling its academic staff to enhance the learning            the institution and at building a more responsive
   experience of students by developing the multiple              learning and teaching environment to promote
   academic and digital literacies that inform this               flexible learning. The substantial progress made
   context and are needed to engage effectively with it.          towards these objectives provides a solid foundation
   Strengthening the informed use of technologies                 for the ongoing pursuit of excellence in learning
   in learning and teaching is a central feature of the           and teaching at UWC as key components of student
   plan. The use of technologies must be underpinned              success and retention. Attention will also be given to
   by pedagogical rationales which draw on their                  recognising and rewarding excellence in teaching.
   potential to transform learning and teaching,                  Over the next five years there will be an increased
   especially by facilitating the active participation of         emphasis on learning.        The significant gains in
   students. In this regard, exploring less traditional           improving pedagogical practice and the scholarship
   digital media of learning and communication will be            of teaching and learning will be a base for
   particularly important. The University is building its         developing flexible and carefully aligned processes
   capacity to be a ‘connected’ campus which pursues              to promote responsiveness and enable students
   excellent learning opportunities, among other things           to improve their learning ability and increase their
   through facilitating the ‘internal’ and ‘external’             chances of excelling in their studies. This shift in
   connectedness of its students. Digital technologies            emphasis has large implications. It derives from a
   are an important vehicle to support this intention.            conviction that access is not to be confused with
   In this IOP period the focus will be on: Instructional         admission. Access involves both student attitudes
   design; ongoing research into the field of innovative          and the teaching and institutional provision which
   education    and    communication       technologies;          taken together make for intellectual success.
   software development and application; digital                  UWC will explore means of promoting intellectual
   academic literacy programmes; ongoing ICT skills               access for a diverse range of students through its
   training; and the design and development of                    teaching practices and supportive facilities. Among
   materials for multiple digital platforms; and creating         other things, it will develop different kinds of
   integrated, seamless    and flexible processes and             ‘learning spaces’ across the campus, providing for
   infrastructure to support a well-connected campus.             both formal and informal learning opportunities.
                                                                  Rich and lively informal learning opportunities
3. Develop     an     environment      conducive      to
                                                                  will   be   provided     and    supported     alongside
   excellence in learning and teaching in support
                                                                  an     excellent   formal      academic    programme.
   of student success and retention.
                                                                  UWC is a research-led university. Accordingly,
   Significant attention was given in the previous
                                                                  excellence in learning and teaching is consciously
   IOP to strategies aimed at promoting excellence

                                                            2016 - 2020 White Paper University of the Western Cape 19
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