The tenth edition of the Leadership Advancement Workshops was held in collaboration with the University of Stellenbosch under the theme “The role of the Registrar, CFO and CHR in a 21st century University”. The three-day workshop was hosted at the Afrique Suites Hotel in Muntungo, Kampala from 27 to 29 September, 2016 and brought together twenty-two (22) participants drawn from eleven (11) Higher Education Institutions in Africa, comprising Academic Registrars, Human Resource Managers and Chief Financial Officers. Universities from Western, Eastern and Southern Africa were represented. The participants discussed their roles and articulated their needs in terms of the value adding services they need to provide for the 21st Century University.
The main objective of the workshop was to deliberate on the many challenges African Universities of the 21st century face. This challenges include relevance, sustainability, student access, student success and staff challenges. There is a need for a new type of Professional and Support Service staff, Senior and Executive staff who fully understand the imperatives of the 21st century and who are able to translate their institutional goals and align these to the Registry, Human Resources and Financial Objectives, policies and procedures and develop actions to support the sustainable success of the particular HEI.
The Workshop was facilitated by Professor Tobias De Coning of the Stellenbosch Advancement Academy. This was done through presentations on different topics such as driving forces that will fundamentally affect the 21st century African universities. The forces identified were competitive domestic and international student markets, challenges of government funding, competition for new sources of funding, use of digital technologies in campus based learning, blended learning, global student mobility, integration with industry, the scale and depth of industry-based learning, research partnerships and commercialisation, among others. This was followed by discussions on the practical impact of these driving forces. There was also a presentation on what Vice Chancellors and University presidents expect from their senior managers and how these managers meet those expectations through discussions of the challenges they face.
The Workshop equipped the participants with required mindsets and strategic tools to be able to redesign and re-align their functions to the vision and strategic goals of the University. The participants were reminded about the importance of their roles in supporting their Vice Chancellors.
Taking into consideration all the emerging perspectives during the course of the workshop, participants recommended that the AAU should:
At the closing of the workshop, participants were commended for expanding their thinking of the different roles as technical staff in their Universities and especially the African University within the dynamic global higher education setting. There was no doubt that the roles of the Registrar, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Human Resource Officer were the backbone of the University and the pillars upon which a successful Vice Chancellor operates.