The Vision of the Centre for Higher Education Development is to be a cross-faculty unit that contributes to continual improvement in the quality of higher education through widening access, promoting excellence through equity, developing the curriculum in partnership with faculties, enhancing the competence of graduates by ensuring the provision of key skills and abilities, and enabling systemic improvement through the research-led development of informed policy options.
CHED has been established at a time when UCT is undergoing unprecedented changes, and when difficult choices are required to ensure that the University is both effective and efficient. CHED's strategies are designed to contribute to the constant improvement in the quality of teaching and learning across all faculties, and to the development of policies for higher education that situate UCT to best advantage.
CHED's major goals include the following:
- Providing an efficient and effective student testing and placement service for undergraduate enrolments
- Contributing to the development of admission routes for new categories of students
- Working closely with faculty representatives in developing a co-ordinated "First Year Experience" that encompasses orientation programmes for new students
- Developing a policy that will ensure that all students have the opportunity of participating in community service as an integral part of the academic programme for which each is registered
- Collaborating with the Student Development and Services Department in developing a comprehensive and integrated system of student support
- Establishing formal partnerships with each faculty in order to promote the best possible environment for academic development
- Developing, in consultation with faculties, appropriate assessment and accreditation systems
- Working closely with Information Technology Services and the University Libraries to ensure the best possible support for the academic use of information technology at UCT
- Designing a revised quality assurance system for UCT
- Designing a suite of postgraduate qualifications for professional educators working in the field of higher education
- Contributing to the dissemination of policy development, and the sustainability of policy initiatives, through documentation and the production of professional policy reports.
Together with CHED's established strengths, these new initiatives will enhance the extent and quality of the "added value" that the Centre can redistribute to the faculties and to the university as a whole.