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To bring you up to speed with key issues that were discussed and decided during Council's meeting on 21 November 2019.
Renewal of the term of the vice-chancellor

The first term of the vice-chancellor, Prof Dan Kgwadi, will come to an end in May 2020.

Council approved that Prof Kgwadi be reappointed for another four years as vice-chancellor of the NWU.

Council thanked Prof Kgwadi for his service during his first term and congratulated him on his reappointment.

Council and the vice-chancellor will discuss and agree upon specific focus areas aimed towards the consolidation of the progress made to date, as well as the achievement of more milestones in South Africa and internationally.
Report by the vice-chancellor

Prof Kgwadi presented the NWU's highlights for 2019 to Council and indicated some of the priorities for 2020:
  • Consolidation and enhancement of excellence in the university's core academic programmes
  • Acceleration of efforts towards an inclusive and welcoming institutional culture
  • Formulation and implementation of a new digital strategy aimed at positioning the NWU to respond efficiently and effectively to opportunities and challenges of the 4th industrial revolution
  • Diversification of the university's income sources to ensure the university's financial sustainability
  • Fast-track the implementation of programmes aimed at achievement of the NWU's transformation goals
  • Ensure equity of provision and equity of student experience
Mid-year performance review

During the first six months of 2019, the NWU has made significant strides towards achieving the goals in the NWU strategy.

The key progress towards the achievement of the approved goals in the 2019 Annual Performance Plan (APP) was approved by Council.

It will now be submitted to the Department of Higher Education and Training.
2020 Annual Performance Plan

Council approved the 2020 APP.

The APP is aligned with the university's strategic plan and contains performance targets that are consistent with the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework.

The APP will be submitted to the Department of Higher Education and Training as per the department's requirements.

The APP can be viewed here.
2020 budget and financial matters

Council approved the 2020 budget, including the budget for the planned infrastructure developments, and the minimum fees payable by students. Of importance are the following:
  • Tuition and registration fee increase – 7% (lower than internal inflation)
  • Distance students fee and registration fee increases – 5,3%, based on the previous year due to the timing issue (registration runs across two years)
  • NWU-owned residences' fee increase – 8%
  • Leased residences increase will be based on actual costs
Employment equity

Council approved that in order to accelerate the pace of transformation, the following targets will be incorporated into the new Employment Equity Plan:
  • Appointment of black employees: 70%
  • Appointment of people living with disabilities: 2,2%
  • Targets must be incorporated into the university's APP and cascaded to individual performance agreements
Policies and rules

The following policies and rules were approved and will shortly be available here:
  • Higher Degrees Policy
  • Infrastructure Management Policy
  • Policy for Employees Living with Disabilities
  • Sexual Harassment Policy
  • Policy on Delegations, Assignment and Agency
  • Process and Rules for the Appointment of Office Bearers
Self-Directed Learning (SDL) upgraded to research unit

The research focus area Self-Directed Learning (SDL) has a highly relevant focus and a clear vision with excellent alignment with the NWU strategy and national policy.

It has a large number of participating members, experienced NRF-rated and developing researchers.

There are many new initiatives with good external collaboration and a number of funding applications and existing funding from a variety of external sources.

Based on a comprehensive report, Council approved that the existing SDL research focus area be upgraded to a research unit.
New research entity: Applied Research in Management Cybernetics – niche area

Council approved that Applied Research in Management Cybernetics be created at niche area level. The decision is based on the fact that the entity complies with all criteria for a niche area and should be a real asset to the NWU.

The entity consists of researchers from the disciplines of management accounting, financial accounting, business administration and industrial engineering from the Faculties of Engineering and Economic and Management Sciences.

The proposed group is aligned with NWU and national priorities and has a clear strategic plan. The real strength and relative uniqueness lies in the transdisciplinary nature of the proposed entity.
New research entity: Pure and Applied Analytics – focus area

Council approved that a new research entity named Pure and Applied Analytics be created at focus area level.

The new entity will consist of three sub-programmes, namely; mathematics, applied mathematics and statistics.

The combination of mathematics, applied mathematics and statistics into a single research entity is envisaged to have great advantages.
The next Council meeting will take place on 19 March 2020 on the campus in Potchefstroom.

For more information please contact Amanda van der Merwe.