Vice-Chancellor shares new NWU future strategy with Campus community

Annette Willemse -- Wed, 12/02/2015 - 15:25

Vice-Chancellor shares new NWU future strategy with Campus community

“I am glad to inform you that the University Council have approved the new dream and purpose for the North-West University (NWU).”


Prof Dan Kgwadi Prof Kgwadi during his presentation to staff


With this opening remark the Vice-Chancellor, Prof Dan Kgwadi, recently shared the newly approved strategy and structure for the University with staff members on the Vaal Triangle Campus (NWU Vaal). A strategy team under the leadership of Prof Dan Kgwadi, commenced with the review of the strategy in July 2014 and presented final proposals to Council regarding a new strategic direction for the NWU on 19 and 20 November 2015.

The dream

To be an internationally recognised university in Africa, distinguished for engaged scholarship, social responsiveness and an ethic of care.

NWU purpose

To excel in innovative teaching-learning and cutting-edge research, thereby benefitting society through knowledge.

More about the strategy process

The strategy for the next 10 years will be “to transform and to position the NWU as a unitary institution of superior academic excellence, with a commitment to social justice,” explained Prof Kgwadi and added that the Council also approved the market direction, market differentiators, an internal, external and financial success model and a strategic agenda for the NWU.

“To enable the execution of this strategy, the strategy team proposed that the NWU should be restructured and the operating model changed. Pivotal to any new structure would be the need to enable much greater academic integration, and take account of and cater for the complexity of a multi-campus institution,” said Prof Kgwadi. The strategy team presented a proposal to Senate for its advice to Council in terms of the statute. Senate unanimously endorsed a new structure with the following elements, which it indicated could promote administrative and academic coherence, efficiency and sustainable quality:

  • A single Executive Dean would head each of the eight faculties, which would span all campuses of the NWU (instead of the 15 campus-based deans and faculties currently in place). These Deans would report to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor for teaching-learning and the Deputy Vice-Chancellor for research, innovation and technology on strategic and functional matters and would be responsible for the alignment of academic programmes and standards across the university.
  • There would be on-site managers such as Deputy Deans (or other senior academic managers depending on the size and complexity of the faculty) on campuses to ensure rapid decision making and responsive client services.
  • The current Campus Rectors would be replaced by Deputy Vice-Chancellors who would have an operational responsibility on a campus and an across-campus executive responsibility based on their expertise e.g. internationalisation or institutional research and planning.

Professor Kgwadi explained that Senate proposed a phased-in approach with firstly the restructuring of senior management, corporate services and faculty management structures; and then restructuring of schools and other academic entities

“I want to reassure all stakeholders of the NWU that immense care and responsibility have been taken to ensure that the new trajectory which was decided upon for the NWU, will ensure that the university will reach even greater heights,” said Prof Kgwadi and added that Council found a way to take the University forward as an inclusive university where a focus on social justice forms part of all its activities. “I believe that middle ground – to the benefit of all, has been found.”