The NWU context confirms that transformation is inextricably connected to issues of justice, culture, performance indicators, communal wellbeing, excellence, relevance, etc., as well as to the wider concept of being responsive to environmental and political changes, and being relevant to the current needs of the communities we serve.
We have identified ten transformation goals, which we judge as the most relevant to pursue, monitor and achieve, namely, Diversity, Access, Alignment, Redress, Equity, Resource Allocation, Increased Unity, Student Experience, Success and Quality. Progress in achieving the aforementioned is dependent upon the existence of clear, measurable and well communicated strategies, plans and projects; and a focused, fundamental, purposeful, resolute, collective and dedicated effort – including structures and systems – by our entire NWU community. These plans can be found in our Annual Performance Plan and in individual faculty and department operational plans. The Transformation Oversight Committee oversees the implementation of the transformational aspects of the Annual Performance Plan. The Institutional Forum also fulfils an important advisory role in terms of the Higher Education Act and the NWU Statute.
Ongoing management and monitoring of the transformation agenda in line with the University’s Code of Ethics takes place in a constructive and consultative manner.
The transformation steering, oversight and reporting function is located in the office of the Executive Director Student Life: Dr. Sibusiso Chalufu.
Gender awareness and LGBTIQ+ matters
Gender Awareness is a critical component of the Diversity focus of the NWU. There are a number of institution-wide projects and initiatives. Within the DVCs Office, there is a Steering Committee for Awareness of Gender. This is representative of student LGBTIQ leadership as well as representatives from the Faculties of the NWU. This committee, comprised of volunteer members of staff, exists to promote awareness of gender and to support through the DVCs Office University wide initiatives like Gender Awareness Week annually in August. There is also a network of LGBTIQ staff and allies within and outside the University known as the Gender Benefit Network. The GBN exists to raising funding to support student and staff initiatives to raise awareness of issues affecting LGBTIQ+ groups and it maintains the GBN Fund Rules.
The NWU way
As we pursue our dream to be “an internationally recognised university in Africa, distinguished for engaged scholarship, social responsiveness and an ethic of care”, we are working hard on actualising our strategy which aims to transform and position the NWU as a unitary institution of superior academic excellence, with a commitment to social justice. As part of this journey, we need to create a shared organisational culture that will support our strategy. Ultimately, we want every staff member and student aligned behind a set of values, norms and everyday behaviours – while we all collectively live the NWU Way. While the NWU’s current success models focus on creating a culture that is welcoming, inclusive and enabling, we believe that it is important to involve the whole university in crafting our desired culture and creating the NWU Way which we can all own. Read more
NWU declares its position on decolonisation
Students brandishing posters and occupying buildings; flames licking at the foundations of buildings and, more figuratively, at the foundations of higher education. This imagery tells us that higher education in South Africa will never be the same. The student protests that started in 2015 and the resulting Fallist Movements* made sure of this.
South African students have made it clear that they demand a changed education environment which includes a new student experience of the curriculum. This is why the North-West University (NWU) has formulated a declaration on the decolonisation of the curriculum. The NWU Senate approved the declaration at the end of October 2018.