Call for Applications: Professionalisation Programme for South African Higher Education Student Affairs, Student Support and Development Personnel

Universities South Africa’s Higher Education Leadership and Management (HELM) programme is calling for applications from universities’ staff involved in student affairs, development, administration and support, to attend the inaugural leadership and professionalisation training programme, newly designed for staff in these functions and domains. The deadline for nominations and applications is 24 March 2023.

According to Dr Oliver Seale, Director: HELM, this programme was designed in 2022 as a direct response to a capacity development need identified in the National Training Needs Assessment (TNA) survey undertaken from November 2021. In that survey, held across all 26 public universities, 86% of the personnel working in Student Affairs, Student Development and Support Services expressed eagerness for the provision of a training intervention for professionals in these domains. Following completion of the Student Affairs and Student Success (SASS) programme content design in 2022, HELM is launching the programme, targeted at middle and senior staff in the domains of student support, development, administration, internationalisation, student affairs, and related services. The aim is to strengthen their leadership and delivery in this complex and changing environment.

Dr Seale says the programme recognises that discussions around student success have grown beyond throughput rates to a more holistic understanding of the student life cycle, from enrolment to graduation. Discussions now include how student support practitioners provide relevant services, shape the living and learning context, and how they engage students in the transformation of the tertiary experience. He says applications may take the form of nominations of practitioners and managers by their heads of departments and line managers, as stipulated above, or they can be direct applications from the heads of divisions or departments, themselves. The application process is explained below and the brochure is available here.

i. Applications are open to:

a) All staff focussed on student success, student support and development,

b) Middle and senior managers, heads of units and departments, student success project leaders, etc

c) South African public universities only,

d) Each university may nominate a maximum of 4 candidates, from whom a total of 40 participants will be selected.

ii. The application form for SASS may be accessed online here and needs to be completed and uploaded by the applicant.

iii.  The online application form must be completed and submitted to HELM by close of business on Friday, 24 March 2023.

iv. A HELM selection committee will review all applications and inform applicants of the outcome by 31 March 2023.

v. The nominating university must commit to contributing an amount of R15 000 per successful participant to HELM, which will be utilised for programme activities not funded by HELM’s UCDP grant.

Dr Seale says they look forward to the participation of all 26 South African public universities in this exciting programme.

Inquiries regarding applications may be directed at: Ms Nolusindiso Kayi: OR 071 875 1890.