UKZN’s achievements in the area of transformation were praised by the Minister of Higher Education and Training Dr Blade Nzimande during the recent launch of the University’s Transformation Charter

Speaking at a launch function on the Westville campus, Nzimande said he had been told Africans comprised 62 percent of the total student enrolments at UKZN this year while in 2011 62 percent of graduates and 33 percent of academic leadership had been women. ‘This is a very important achievement.’

It was necessary, Nzimande said, to move towards defining transformation beyond overcoming racial divisions and rather towards seeking radical change in our society – including the education and training system.

Outlining the process of drafting the Charter, Professor Deo Jaganyi, Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor: College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science, explained it was commissioned by the University Council in response to the recommendations emanating from the Governance and Academic Freedom Committee of Council (GAFC) and the Ministerial Committee on Transformation and Social Cohesion and the Elimination of Discrimination in Public Higher Education Institutions.

Jaganyi said the consultation process was broadly inclusive. ‘The inputs and comments from the different constituencies were collated and independently analysed including compliance with the university policies before incorporation into the draft document to enrich the Charter.’

The Chair of Council, Ms Phumla Mnganga commended Professor Deo Jaganyi for driving the process.

Professor Renuka Vithal, Acting Vice-Chancellor, said lessons for the Higher Education system could be distilled and shared from UKZN’s transformation experience.

‘Transformation of universities can be achieved in our life time. It is not easy, it is not for the faint hearted but has to be pursued with leadership, commitment and dedication at all levels,’ added Vithal.

The evening’s entertainment included a rousing performance by Mbazo, the children and grandchildren of renowned music group, Ladysmith Black Mambazo.

author email : captainr@ukzn.ac.za