Professor Alan Cliff
Interim Dean of Higher Education Development
Welcome to the website of the Centre for Higher Education Development (CHED) at the University of Cape Town (UCT).
CHED is a unique structure in South African higher education. It has teaching and research responsibilities, producing research in a very wide range of disciplines, and contributing over R23 million to the university in fee and subsidy income. In addition, CHED provides specialist educational expertise and functions to assist faculties to meet UCT's educational and strategic goals: such expertise takes the form of academic staff development, the design and use of online and blended learning in the curriculum, academic writing support, first-year and postgraduate support and career development and graduate recruitment services, to name but a few.
CHED is headed by the Dean of Higher Education Development and has an organisational status similar to that of a faculty. CHED currently comprises the following five units:
Academic Development Programme (ADP),
Centre for Innovation in Learning and Teaching (CILT),
Centre for Educational Assessment (CEA),
Careers Service (CS), and
Hasso Plattner School of Design Thinking (d-school) at UCT.
Furthermore, the Dean's Office houses several units and special projects, including Academic Staff & Professional Development, Multilingual Education Project (MEP), University Capacity Development Programme (UCDP), Melon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Program (MMUF), First-Year Experience (FYE) project and the Ikusasa Student Financial Aid Programme (ISFAP).
CHED was established by Senate and Council to focus on all matters concerning academic development. Its brief 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.
In the 2006 quality audit of UCT, conducted by the Higher Education Quality Committee, CHED was singled out for commendation, with the HEQC noting its national leadership role. A review of CHED (November 2012) confirmed its role as an academic faculty-like structure and broadened its role within UCT. More recently, the COVID-19 pandemic has enhanced CHED's leadership role within the institution which has been able to draw on its research-led expertise to take teaching and learning online and to address challenges to student success in a context of exacerbated inequalities.
In view of its mission, CHED's strategic planning needs to be responsive to the faculties' requirements for specialised educational functions; UCT's general strategic planning and national HE policy, output and process goals.