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Dr Badat addresses media on key University developments

Date Released: Fri, 12 April 2013 15:59 +0200

Rhodes University Vice-Chancellor Dr Saleem Badat addressed the local, regional and student media today (12 April 2013) on key developments at the University such as the new Enrolment Plans, the Institutional Development Plan, and Campus Development Plan.

According to Dr Badat, Rhodes needs to have carefully considered and formulated ideas on its academic and overall institutional trajectory and development if it is not to be simply shaped by historical patterns and contemporary currents and pressure, and is to proactively and consciously shape its future.

“We need to make conscious choices and decisions with respect to knowledge production, teaching-learning and community engagement. These choices include the balance between undergraduate and postgraduate provision, the breadth of qualifications and programmes, the nature of programmes (the mix between general formative, vocational, professional, etc.), the mode of provision (contact, distance, e-leaning) and the like,” he says.

“Regarding knowledge production, there are choices on different kinds of scholarship (discovery, integration, etc.) and the nature of research (fundamental, applied, strategic, developmental). Community engagement involves issues such as relations with different kinds of communities (mining, manufacturing, agriculture, commerce, government, non-governmental organisations, social movements), which operate in different spaces (national, provincial, regional, local), and have different requirements (research, teaching).”

He says, “Rhodes is currently in the process of producing an Institutional Development Plan (IDP) which will collate, consolidate and expresses our choices, decisions and goals and strategies with respect to academic programmes, enrolments, staffing, infrastructure and finances over the next decade (two five-year terms);

  • Be a compass (rather than a cast-in-stone invariant blueprint) that guides developments, prioritisation, decision-making and implementation at Rhodes while leaving room for pursuing new imperatives and exploiting possible new opportunities;
  • Ensure that there is an alignment between enrolment planning, academic planning, staffing, infrastructure planning and financial planning, and that planning occurs on a longer-term horizon;
  • Will ensure that Rhodes is financially sustainable taking into account its enrolments, academic programmes and operations, and its staffing and infrastructure requirements; and
  • Will help us to effectively address and pursue new social and educational imperatives, goals and strategies.”

Informed by the IDP, a Campus Development Plan will be also finalised as a guide to the considered overall physical development and maintenance of the Rhodes University campus. A Green Fund has been created to support the University to institute environmentally-friendly short-, medium- and long-term measures, and initiatives and activities that ensure that Rhodes becomes a greener campus.

On enrolment plans he says Rhodes target for 2012 was 7 576 students - 5 329 undergraduate students and 2 204 postgraduate students.

“We were, however, down 183 students: we had 82 less undergraduate students, 97 less postgraduate students, and four less occasional students than was our target. There are financial implications when we have fewer students than we budgeted for. We were within the 2% leeway that the Department of Higher Education & Training permits regarding enrolment figures and won’t lose any subsidy”.

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