UKZN Manager Receives Award for Best Practice
UKZN’S College of Health Sciences Academic Services Manager, Mrs Ranitha Ramdeyal, received an award for her contribution to Best Practice for Faculty Administration in a Higher Education Institution (HEI) at the 15th Annual Higher Education Faculty Administrators Forum’s (HEFAF) Conference in Cape Town.
A member of the forum since its inception, Ramdeyal said the body aimed to collectively address common issues and challenges within a network of South African universities and their counterparts in the SADC region.
She worked with the forum to develop its best practice document. ‘It felt great to be acknowledged for my contribution. It made me feel like I made a difference.’
Themed: “The Impact of the November 2015 ‘Fees-Must-Fall’ Campaign by Students on Academic Administration at HEIs”, the Conference was attended by more than 200 delegates from universities in South Africa, Namibia and Botswana, as well as international representatives from the United Kingdom and Ireland.
The Association of University Administrators (AUA) in the UK shared an international perspective on the issues of student retention.
They spoke about how UKZN assists its students academically through support to ensure that they finish their degrees on time.
‘UKZN provides academic support programmes to assist those students whose academic potential has not been realised due to disadvantaged educational backgrounds,’ said Ramdeyal. ‘The programmes take the form of access and foundation courses, restructured first year courses or additional courses in essential skills such as communication and academic writing. Pre-university courses prepare students for the challenges of the academic environment while mentorship and internship programmes promote the academic and vocational development of students.’
HEFAF was formed in 2002 as an initiative of Adapt IT (Pty) Ltd to define and formulate best practice for faculty administration.
Membership is open to public and private universities, technical and vocational education institutions, training colleges and organisations from inside as well as outside South Africa. Members include 23 public and two private South African universities, six public TVET Colleges, two Higher Education Institutions from Namibia, three Higher Education Institutions from Botswana, one from Lesotho and two universities from Nigeria.
Ramdeyal, who has been with UKZN for 24 years, says her future plans include helping to further develop and improve administrators.
She is married with two daughters. ‘My children keep me going. They are my champions. I’m also grateful for a very supportive husband.’