Investing In Future Leaders: UWC P4APL Graduation 2018

Investing in Future UWC Leaders: P4APL Leaders and Participants Celebrate at Inaugural Graduation Ceremony

University leaders in the 21st century need to be able to adapt to a rapidly-changing higher education context - they need new methods of critical and strategic thinking. That’s why the University of the Western Cape (UWC) is proud to celebrate the first graduates of the Programme for Academic and Professional Leaders (P4APL).

This year, 19 academic and professional leaders graduated from the programme with an award ceremony on 13 April 201 that drew together the participants, their mentors and project mentors.

“The key differentiator between Institutions of higher learning into the future will be their ability to attract and retain quality leaders in the face of a global shortage of leadership/management talent,” explained UWC’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Academic, Prof Vivienne Lawack.

Following the prioritisation of collective leadership capacity development in the Institutional Operating Plan (IOP) 2016-2020, the University, under the auspices of the Office of the DVC Academic, Prof Vivienne Lawack launched a 12-month programme aimed at developing UWC’s future leaders.

“This programme thus aims to enable leaders to develop the competencies needed for our future UWC success, by creating a sustainable leadership pipeline of successful academic and professional leaders,” Prof Lawack added.

Participants were drawn from across the various faculties and the P4APL was officially launched in March 2017.

The purpose of the pilot programme was to equip 21st century university leaders with strategic thinking and to develop their capacity to adapt to a rapidly changing higher education context. Participants were drawn from across the various faculties and the Programme for Academic & Professional Leaders (P4APL) was officially launched in March 2017.

The implementation of the programme was overseen by the DVC: Research and Innovation, Prof José Frantz; the Dean of the Faculty of Community Health Sciences, Prof Anthea Rhoda; the Human Resources department; and leadership development specialist, Anwar van der Schyff.

Various experts, as well as UWC leaders, presented a range of topics along with workshops aimed at developing the skills of participants.

Learning To Lead: P4APL participation and personal development

Dr Mmaki Jantjies, Chairperson of the Information Systems Department, was an eager participant in the P4APL programme. She summed up the value of the P4APL, noting that the various modules had enhanced the participants’ institutional knowledge and leadership capacity.

This enabled them to:

  • Understand and implement leadership strategies within the higher education context, and also within a generic leadership framework;
  • Interact with academic and support leaders from UWC, offering participants an opportunity to ask relevant questions on issues pertinent to their functional roles; and
  • Understand UWC’s internal channels, structures and processes.

In addition to the content covered, the strength of the programme came from its holistic nature and the development of relationships.

“Personally from this programme, I learnt what it means to be a balanced leader who not only takes care of others and leads others but understands the importance of being able to take care of yourself in the process,” Dr Jantjies concluded.

The P4APL acknowledged the value of sharing experiences and best practices as being key to understanding leadership in academia. Mentors and coaching circles therefore played an important role in the programme. Cross-faculty collaboration was also fostered through teams working on projects related to the IOP. Project mentors dedicated their time and energy to ensuring the projects became a success.

“It is my sincere prayer that this group will take up the challenges posed by the DVC: Academic and continue to contribute to driving the IOP,” said Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Research and Innovation, Prof José Frantz. “And we are excited to welcome the next cohort into the programme, and to support them in their ongoing leadership journey.”

The University is preparing for the next set of 2018/2019 participants - watch out for the Call for 2018/2019 P4APL Applications, to be released shortly.