The Role of the CHE

The Higher Education Act assigns responsibility for quality assurance in higher education in South Africa to the CHE.  The CHE will be conducting institutional audits of all public universities as well as private higher education institutions, with the first set of audits scheduled to start in 2021 in accordance with a CHE endorsed schedule. 

The Audit Process

The audit process comprises of the development of an institutional self-evaluation report (SER) and portfolio of evidence. An audit panel will then conduct a site visit to the institution and the panel will draft an audit report after the site visit for submission to the CHE. The panel will make a list of appropriate commendations and recommendations based on the criteria applied during the audit. A holistic assessment of the institution will be made, and a four-point scale will be used that ranges from weak to the conclusion that an institution has a mature quality assurance system. A strong performance in the audit is an indication of a mature level of self-reflection in relation to quality and that we are continually trying to improve on what we do.

The institutional audit focus will be on how our policies, systems, procedures, strategies and resources are utilised for quality management of the core university functions, and this evaluation will be supported by a range of sources of evidence that is interpreted by an institution as to how to it meets the respective audit focus areas, which are:

  1. the influence of an institution’s governance, strategic planning (vision, mission and goals), management and academic leadership on its quality management
  2. the design and implementation of an integrated quality management system
  3. the coherence and integration of the components of the institutional quality management
  4. the effectiveness of the institutional quality management system.

UCT is establishing an Institutional Audit Steering Committee (SC) to plan for and provide institutional oversight of the preparation and development of the self-evaluation report.

The SC will be establishing specialist workstreams to collect data and information on how each focus area in the Institutional Audit Framework is met by the University, identify gaps in our practice, manage documents and write workstream reports which will be used for the development of the SER. Workstreams will be comprehensive in their ability to work across the University’s core functions, and will be inclusive with representation from a diverse set of voices at UCT including academic and PASS staff and students. Workstreams will establish contacts in faculties and departments and critically engage with the Institution, with the intended outcome of identifying information, policies, data, governance structures and gaps related to the four focus areas. The Institutional Planning Department that will act as the secretariat for the audit, will shortly distribute invitations to identified specialists for the compilation of the workstreams.

Institutional Audit Deadlines

The agreed date with the CHE, for the submission of our self-evaluation report (SER) and portfolio of evidence is 31 March 2022 and the panel site visit will take place between 15 and 19 August 2022.

Institutional Audit Self-Evaluation Report

UCT staff and students may use their credentials to access the Self Evaluation report and a brief overview of the development of the report here.

Amanda Barratt
Senior Manager: Academic Planning and Quality Assurance Unit
Institutional Planning Department
021 650 2614
082 320 5810