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Cooperative Education & Service Learning Unit

POLICY ON ADVISORY COMMITTEES

PREAMBLE

The Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University as an engaged university offering a comprehensive range of programmes, aims to facilitate two-way communication on academic matters between the University, external stakeholders and the community it serves. Advisory Committees serves as one of the vehicles for achieving this objective.

DEFINITION AND FUNCTIONS OF ADVISORY COMMITTEES

  1. An Advisory Committee is a committee comprised of knowledgeable, prominent and credible members in their field of expertise from within and outside the University. The functions of Advisory Committees include:
    • providing input and guidance concerning aspects related to the curriculum (including admission and assessment requirements), external needs, vocational profiles, relevance and research;
    • defining and setting academic standards for the learning programmes concerned;
    • retaining the above function by monitoring delivery and ensuring that standards are adhered to;
    • contributing to programme review;
    • providing information relating to changes required in the curriculum deriving from changes in the external environment;
    • advising on vocational profile of graduates and diplomats and trends;
    • advising on continued professional development and extracurricular offerings (SLP’s);
    • advising on the establishment of entities;
    • monitoring and reporting on availability and relevance of laboratory equipment and infrastructure required for all programmes and curriculum;
    • assisting the University in placement of staff for sabbaticals and/or industrial experience;
    • assisting the University in the development of co-operative education partnerships.
  2. Advisory Committees also receive comments and input, and are supported in issues that are programme-specific and non programme-specific, from specialized internal parties and units dealing with quality, curriculum design and development, academic support and engagement.
  3. Advisory Committees may also be an active engagement partner in activities such as the creation of facilities, generating funds and bursaries, creating opportunities for work integrated learning, research, marketing of the University in general and staff development.

GUIDELINES FOR MEMBERSHIP

Advisory Committees includes, inter alia, suitably qualified academic staff, relevant support staff, representatives of professional bodies or councils (where applicable), spokespersons for a particular interest groups, leaders and experts in their field. In terms of the requirements of members of advisory committees, competency requirements need to be stipulated

The membership of an Advisory Committee may include where applicable the following:

  • The Dean (ex officio), Director, the relevant Head of Department and Programme Coordinator;
  • Relevant academic staff and when applicable, staff from internal support units dealing with quality, curriculum design and development and academic support;
  • A nominated representative of the professional board/council involved;
  • Suitable representatives from industry, commerce and employers;
  • Representatives from local authorities and/or government and employer organisations where applicable;
  • A students’ representative and a recent graduate or diplomat;
  • Representatives/spokespersons’ from a particular interest group and from the local community with an awareness of the needs of the community regarding the programme offering;
  • Academics, leaders and experts in the field who are not staff of the NMMU.

PROCEDURES FOR ESTABLISHING ADVISORY COMMITTEES

  1. An Advisory Committee may be established for each programme or cluster of programmes for NMMU entities and in the case of any other NMMU activity where deemed applicable.
  2. The Head of Department and Programme Coordinator submits a list of members to be invited to serve on the Committee to the Dean for approval.
  3. The Dean signs all letters of invitations and final appointments.
  4. Meetings may be held when required, but at least once per year.
  5. The Head of Department is responsible for the effective functioning of the Advisory Committee.
  6. Advisory Committees may set-up sub-committees to address specific issues.
  7. Heads of Department/Programme Coordinators are responsible for implementing recommendations by Advisory Committees.
  8. The chairperson of the Advisory Committee is required to prepare an annual report of its activities.
  9. The same procedure will apply in the case of NMMU Entity Advisory Committees.

ADVISORY COMMITTEES IN RELATION TO UNIVERSITY STRUCTURES

  1. In order that Advisory Committees function effectively, it is necessary to incorporate an accountability system into the policy.
    1. The CPID acts as the responsible body to ensure the effective functioning of Advisory Committees within the University.
    2. Minutes of Advisory Committee meetings serve at the appropriate Board of Faculty.
    3. Academic matters arising from the minutes of Advisory Committees may be referred to the Executive Committee of Senate via the Deans of Faculties when required.
    4. Copies of the minutes of all Advisory Committees are retained by the Director: Quality Management for the purpose of ensuring that recommendations and decisions relevant to programme development and delivery are implemented.
    5. The Director: Quality Management audits and prepares an annual report for the Executive of Senate on the activities and recommendations of all Advisory Committees.
    6. The Director: Academic Engagement and Collaboration is responsible for maintaining the database of members serving on NMMU Advisory Committees.

CONSTITUTION OF ADVISORY COMMITTEES

  1. OFFICE BEARERS
    1. The office bearers of the Advisory Committee shall be the Chairperson, Vice-chairperson and Secretary.
    2. The Chairperson and Vice-chairperson shall be elected bi-annually by members present.
    3. The Chairperson shall preside at all the meetings of the Advisory Committee. In the absence of the Chairperson and the Vice-chairperson the committee shall appoint a chairperson for that meeting.
    4. The Faculty Officer shall act as Secretary.
  2. MEETINGS
    1. Notice of meetings shall be given at least 14 days prior to the meeting.
    2. The members present shall constitute a quorum.
    3. Meetings are to be held at least once per year but more often if necessary.
  3. ELECTION OF OFFICE BEARERS
    1. Elections shall be held during the first meeting of any given year in which new office bearers need to be elected.
    2. Nominations for office bearers should be submitted before the meeting.
    3. The voting procedure will be by show of hands or ballot as decided at the meeting.
    4. Members shall be responsible for their own expenses. Faculties shall be responsible for the costs incurred in hosting meetings.