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Monday, 21 July 2008

CPUT launches Institutional Quality Audit 2010

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In 2010, when the soccer player players of the world are aiming for the goalposts, CPUT will be hoping to achieve a few goals of its own during an Institutional Quality Audit site visit from the Higher Education Quality Committee (HEQC).

The HEQC is tasked with promoting quality assurance, auditing quality assurance mechanisims and accrediting programmes at institutions of higher education. All institutions are audited by the HEQC at least once within a six-year cycle. The auditing process relies heavily on a self-evaluation report submitted by the institution under review. A site visit by the HEQC confirms whether the results of the self-evaluation are accurate, so that the effectiveness of the institution's quality management can be assessed.

Gathering information for the self-evaluation report is a University-wide activity that will be part of campus life for the next two years. The Quality Management Directorate kicked off this process at a launch for the Institutional Audit on 17 June 2008 at the Bellville Campus.

CPUT Vice-Chancellor Prof Vuyisa Mazwi-Tanga opened proceedings by discussing the purpose of the institutional mission, goals and objectives. She also spoke about the links between planning, resource allocation and quality management. “CPUT quality is about providing a footprint of excellence in higher education teaching and learning, research, technological insight and development and community engagement,” she said.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor; Academic Anthony Staak then discussed quality issues surrounding teaching and learning, research and community engagement. “While some of us may be rather anxious about what the next two years may have in store,” he said, “ I much prefer to view the Institutional Audit preparations as a wonderful opportunity to reflect on our own internal quality processes, to evaluate our strengths and weaknesses and to put in place plans to improve the way we do things.”

Finally, the Director of the Institutional Audit Dr Daniel Coetzee spoke about what the CPUT community can expect in the upcoming two years and the various drafts of the self-evaluation report that will need to be generated and circulated. “Every member of staff and every student is urged to participate in the audit,” Dr Coetzee said, “This is our chance to put in place a quality management system that meets with your requirements as well as those of external stakeholders.”

The Institutional Audit’s training program is already under way. The first training session, “Reflective practice – how to do a self-evaluation,” presented by Prof Jan Botha of the University of Stellenbosch, was held on 19 June 2008. The session was attended by working group convenors and members. Further training sessions are scheduled for the third term.

The Quality Management Directorate will also be distributing Qan (pronounced “can”), a regular newsletter that aims to keep the campus community up to date with the progress of the Institutional Audit. Qan will be available to CPUT staff as a printed publication and to the wider public in electronic format.

To learn more about the Institutional Audit, and the other activities of the Quality Management Directorate visit http://www.cput.ac.za/units/quality

By Ilana Abratt and Ruth Chisesa, Marketing and Communication Department

Photograph: CPUT community gets ready for 2010. Left to right: Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic Prof Anthony Staak, Vice-Chancellor Vuyisa Mazwi-Tanga, Dr Daniel Coetzee and Ms Luclaire Airey, both of the Quality Management Directorate, Mr Norman Jacobs of the Marketing and Communication Department.

Written by CPUT News

Email: news@cput.ac.za