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Change the world

17/05/2023

“Make a difference” was the theme of the annual general institutional meeting of HEITSA Higher Education Information Technology South Africa (HEITSA) that Mandela University recently hosted over two days. HEITSA comprises the Heads of Information Technology from the 26 public universities in the country.

Members shared their experiences and perspectives on IT in higher education and representatives from CAUDIT (Council of Australasian University Directors of Information Technology Incorporated) also joined the meeting and presented their practices. Their mission is to enable the application of digital capabilities to transform education and research.

DVC: People and Operations, Lebogang Hashatse, challenged delegates to seize the opportunity of coming up with innovative solutions in response to challenges facing the sector. He reminded delegates of the need to foster collaboration in the sector.  The number of students has increased substantially, yet the subsidy for universities have decreased since 1994. He also mentioned new opportunities, such as Mandela University’s Ocean Sciences campus, the only one in the country and the SKA research at the University pulling skills in technology.

Andiswa Msi of North-West University reminded delegates of the need for vigilance on matters of cybersecurity. Emphasizing the need to take all users on board on matters of cybersecurity, she reminded delegates that more than 95% of cybersecurity breaches in the higher education sector are because of human error, involving passwords and phishing emails

Mandela University shared the digital transformation landscape at the University, which includes massifying access with many more students needing and having access to devices and data. Also, the idea of an eighth cloud-based campus, the virtual academy.

This year 2486 students received learning devices through the University’s NSFAS bursary-related scheme to support the hybrid learning system alleviating venue overcrowding challenges. Since the pandemic 16 systems from student meals to self-screening and dashboards have been moved to technology platforms at the University.

The digital future of universities worldwide was discussed, because as the population grows the number of students increase. And yet more than 40% of students globally do not have access to their own devices.

Contact information
Ms Elma de Koker
Internal Communication Practitioner
Tel: 041-504 2160
elma.dekoker@mandela.ac.za