Parliamentary Committee visits SPU

On Wednesday, 30 January 2019, the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Higher Education and Training (PCHET), led by the Chair, Ms Connie September, undertook an oversight visit to Sol Plaatje University to receive reports on: the 2019 registration process, the 2018 academic performance, the administration of NSFAS bursaries, the programme for 2019 academic year and infrastructure development.

The programme for the visit included a site inspection of the central campus, presentations from the SRC, NEHAWU, and the University Council and Management; as well as robust engagement with the PCHET.

The Regional Secretary of NEHAWU, Mr Thami Mkhila, gave a critical assessment of the union’s relationship with the SPU management and was encouraged by the PCHET to engage with management through their full participation in the various university structures and processes.

The Deputy President of the SRC, Ms Nomathamsanqa Qiza, gave a presentation on how to develop responsible students who can be productive assets to society, who are nurtured in a teaching and learning environment that is supported by the necessary facilities.

The Deputy Chair of Council, Ms Jenny Glennie, and the Acting Vice-Chancellor, Professor Jean Baxen gave a joint presentation on the development of SPU as a “quiet revolution in the Northern Cape”. 

Ms Glennie assured the PCHET that SPU has an engaged Council that is passionate about making this new university a success.  For this purpose, the Council has strong expertise in law, finance, auditing, human resources and higher education governance.

Professor Baxen explained to the PCHET that SPU’s project was one of social justice which focusses on human development, equitable access to all students, equitable access to emerging academics, inclusion, and a determination to work productively within diversity.

She briefed them about the deliberate choice that the University has made in terms of not offering bridging courses; the SPU higher certificates and diplomas which provide a conduit to degree entry; and the emergence of carefully developed and well-articulated research niches.

She mentioned that SPU has a large and ambitious infrastructure project. Our buildings were completed on time and without incidents – and SPU is very proud of this achievement.

The PCHET commended SPU on its beautiful buildings, peaceful campus, innovative ideas in terms of access and articulation initiatives, and the calibre of our staff and students. 

Some members expressed a desire to send their own children or grandchildren to SPU.    They also requested invitations to future graduation ceremonies

Written by