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Directorate of Learning, Teaching & Student Success

The Directorate of Learning, Teaching & Student Success (DLTSS) is a unit in the office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Academic. It is tasked with developing and implementing the University’s Strategic Plan on Teaching and Learning.

The institution's Student Retention & Success Framework guides the implementation plan. This process involves working with Deputy Deans for Teaching and Learning and Teaching and Learning Specialists to develop, guide and evaluate processes of curriculum, staff and student development across all seven faculties. This encompasses pedagogical and student support initiatives to enhance learning, teaching and student success.

Important to the process is the evaluation practices, delivery of the curriculum and the infusion of graduate attributes into curricula. 

People - Director's Office

Prof Salochana Lorraine Hassan
Position: Director

Dr Mervyn Coetzee

Ms Mapula Maropola
Position: Academic Coordinator: Student Feedback Project

Ms Tania Oppel
Position: Senior Administrator

Ms Andrea Coetzee
Position: Administrative Officer
Prof Salochana Hassan

Research gate:

Professor Salochana Lorraine Hassan is the Director: Learning, Teaching and Student Success within the DVC: Academic’s Office. She holds a PhD in Education (University of Pretoria); an MSc in Biochemistry (University of KwaZulu-Natal); and a Diploma in Tertiary Education (cum laude) (UNISA).

Prof. Hassan has worked in the medical field as a lecturer in Biochemistry and Physiology. She has since moved into the Academic Staff Development field, where she has been employed as Head of the Department of the Academic Staff Development Unit at Fundani Centre for Higher Education Development (CHED), Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) And previously, as Deputy Director of the Teaching and Learning Centre in the Centre for Academic Development, University of Botswana. She also worked at the prestigious St George's University of London Medical Faculty for a year, and she facilitated a one-week assessment workshop in Dubai. Her present research interests include the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, Problem-based Learning, and Academic Development, areas in which she has published widely and presented more than 50 papers at national and international conferences, e.g., in Florida, Lima, Bergen, Trondheim, Gaborone, Rome, Bolzano, Valencia, Istanbul, Auckland, Hong Kong, Perth and South Africa. She has, and is currently, supervising postgraduate students. She coordinated and facilitated the Teaching and Learning in Higher Education module of the Postgraduate Diploma in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education; she also facilitated within the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning programme which she designed and coordinated. Additionally, she designed the Teaching Development Programme that equips new academics with the knowledge and skills for effective pedagogical practice. She developed the teaching and learning policy for the University of Botswana; and reviewed the policy on student feedback on teaching and courses for CPUT.

  1. Hassan, S.L 2021. Traversing autonomy pathways within a scholarship of teaching and learning programme with context as the departure point. In M. Ralarala, S.L. Hassan & R. Naidoo Knowledge beyond the “colour lines”: Towards repurposing knowledge generation, knowledge sharing and critical pedagogy in South African Higher Education. Bellville and Stellenbosch: UWC Press and African Sun Media.
  2. Hassan, S.L. 2020. Problem-based Learning training and implementation: An analysis using Semantics in Legitimation Code Theory. Perspectives in Education, 38(2):185-200. DOI:
    Available at
  3. Nchu, R.M., Tengeh, R.K., Hassan, L., & Iwu, C.G. 2017. High school learners’ interest and readiness to start a business: evidence from South African Schools. WSEAS Transactions on Business and Economics, 14:1–12. , ISSN / E-ISSN: 1109- 9526 / E-ISSN: 2224-2899, Volume 14, 2017, Art. #1, pp. 1-12
    Available at's_int erest_and_readiness_to_start_a_business_evidence_from_South_African_schools
  4. Hassan, S.L. 2017. Perceptions of a Scholarship of Teaching and Learning programme. Paradigms, pp.33-39. CPUT.
  5. Hassan, S.L. 2017. Tutors’ role in tutorials: ‘unpacking’ and ‘repacking’ during the semantic journey. South African Journal of Higher Education, Volume 31(3):99–115. Available at
  6. Enombo, J.P., Hassan, S.L. & Iwu, C.G. 2015. The significance of entrepreneurship education in Gabonese schools: Justifications for a new curriculum design. Socioeconomica–Scientific Journal for Theory and Practice of socio-economic development, 4(8): 493–506. Available at 20al..pdf
  7. Enombo, J.P., Hassan, S.L.& Iwu, C.G. 2015. Rationalising the introduction of entrepreneurship education in Gabon. Environmental Economics, 6(4): 8–14. Available at
  8. Nchu, R.M., Tengeh, R.K. & Hassan, S. 2015. High school learner’s perceptions of the efficacy of entrepreneurship education: The case of selected high schools in the Western cape, South Africa. Socioeconomica–Scientific Journal for Theory and Practice of socio-economic development, 4(8):507–526. Available at eh%20et%20al2..pdf?sequence=3
  9. Hassan, S.L. June 2015. Tutor training evaluation report. CPUT.
  10. Pambault Enombo, J., Hassan, L. & Iwu, C. G. 2015. The necessity for a new curriculum design in Gabonese schools. In Dichaba, M & Nwaozuzu, D (Eds.). Proceedings of the South Africa International Conference on Education (SAICE): Rethinking teaching and learning in the 21st century. (pp 61–72). Published by Africa Academic Research Forum. ISBN 978-0-620-65950-5. Pretoria, South Africa 21–23 September. Available at:
  11. Salochana Hassan & Wouter Wium. 2014. Quality lies in the eyes of the beholder: A mismatch between student evaluation and peer observation of teaching, Africa Education Review, 11 (4): 491-511. ISSN 1814-6627 (print), 1753-5921 (online) DOI: 10.1080/18146627.2014.935000
    To link to this article:
  12. Hassan, S.L. 2014. Lecturers’ role in tutor development from an activity theory perspective. Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences 5(15): 391–399. ISSN: 2039_2117 (online); 2039_9340 (print). Available at
  13. Hassan, S. L. 2014. The problem-based learning gaze: A Foucaultian perspective. Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences, vol. 5 (10): 443–450. ISSN: 2039_2117 (online); 2039_9340 (print). Available at
  14. Hassan, S. 2013. Knowledge acquisition in Biochemistry, Physiology and Anatomy within the context of Problem-based learning. Africa Education Review 10 (1):48–64. ISSN 1814-6627(print) 1753-5921 (online).
  15. Hassan, S.L. 2013. An analysis of the perceptions of academics regarding the reward for excellence in teaching versus excellence in research through the lens of critical theory. Alternation Special Edition No 9: 292–317. Higher Education in an era of reconstruction, internationalisation, competition and cooperation; (invited paper). ISSN 1023-1757. (International journal).
    Available at
  16. Hassan, S. 2013. Conceptualizing programme evaluation. Journal of International Education Research, 9(1);33-40. ISSN: 2158-0979 (print); 2158-0987 (online). (Selected paper). DOI:
  17. Hassan, S. March 2013. Applying research-based learning in medical education through the route of special study modules: Notes from the UK. SA- EDUC, 10(1):1-26. ISSN: 1810-6293. Available at
  18. Hassan, Salochana (2013). Evaluation of a tutor training programme through the frame of activity theory. In Frielick, S., Buissink-Smith, N., Wyse, P., Billot, J., Hallas, J. and Whitehead, E. (Eds.)
  19. Research and Development in Higher Education: The Place of Learning and Teaching, 36 (pp 200 -212). Auckland, New Zealand, 1 – 4 July 2013. Published 2013 by the Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia.
  20. Hassan, S. 2011. The needs and perceptions of academics regarding their professional development in an era of educational transformation. South African Journal of Higher Education, 25(3): 476-490. Unisa Press ISSN 1011-3487.
  21. Hassan, S. 2010. Developing staff for the implementation of problem-based learning: Experiences from Botswana. South African Journal of Higher Education 24 (1): 84-97. Unisa Press ISSN 1011-3487.

Dr Mervyn Coetzee
Dr Mervyn Coetzee is the Co-ordinator of the Towards Professionalization of Learning and Teaching course in the Directorate of Learning, Teaching & Student Success (DLTSS).

Dr Coetzee was born and raised in the Bonteheuwel Township. During his teenage years, he was a pool cleaner at the Sea Point Pavilion. After matriculating from Bonteheuwel High School in 1984, he had various “casual” jobs before becoming a Law Enforcement Officer for the City of Cape Town where he remained for 4 years before going on to study at UWC. He holds a MA (English Literature) and a PhD (Language Education) from UWC. He has also completed a TEFL/TESOL Certificate, and a Change Management Course. He is a SYLFF Fellow, and was awarded an 18-month Erasmus Mundus scholarship to study at the University College Dublin, Ireland. He has taught at UCT, UWC, CPUT, and in the United States where he lived for 16 years. In this case, he held several positions: Outdoor Education Programme Manager, Curriculum Researcher and Developer, Human Resources Manager, among others.
Ms Mapula Maropola
Ms Mapula Maropola is coordinator of the Student Feedback on Teaching and Modules (SFTM) project. She holds an M.Sc. in Biotechnology from the University of the Western Cape (UWC), a B.Sc. (Hons) in Microbiology from Rhodes University, and a Postgraduate Diploma in Marketing Management from UNISA. Mapula has interned as a research scientist at MINTEK, Biotechnology Department (Randburg) and worked as a Professional Officer in the Department of Microbiology and Biotechnology at the University of the Free State. More recently, she began to expand her career focus towards the teaching and learning space. She taught in the Extended Curriculum Programme (ECP) within the Faculty of Natural Sciences at UWC, and has worked as a writing consultant and an acting coordinator at the UWC Writing Centre.

The Student Feedback on Teaching and Module (SFTM) Project
The SFTM project was initiated within the Directorate for Teaching, Learning and Student Success, with the aim to design and implement a system that allows students to provide constructive feedback relating to their experiences of learning and teaching at the University of the Western Cape. This system should ensure that the feedback loop is complete, and enable faculties to prioritise the students’ voices in the decision-making processes. In this way, the students’ concerns can be adequately addressed to enhance their experience in the learning and teaching environment. This project is intentionally developmental; as such, resources and training opportunities will be made available to the lecturers to support their engagement with student concerns, and to capacitate them in their teaching role. The project is currently in its pilot phase (2023-2024), and once approved for roll-out, will be implemented within all faculties at the UWC.
Ms Tania Oppel

Ms Tania Oppel, is the Senior Administrator of Directorate of Learning, Teaching and Student Success (DLTSS), reporting to the Director, Prof Lorraine Hassan. Her main responsibilities within the directorate include office administration duties, minute-taking during meetings, finance administration, organising events, and providing administrative support to coordinators of various programmes and projects.

Tania was born and raised in Cape Town. She attended Wittebome High School in Wynberg but matriculated at UWC in 2000 completing 3 subjects for her matric certificate. She started working at UWC in 1999 in the Education Policy Unit (EPU) as an administrator with Dr George Subotsky.

In 2002, Tania left EPU to start her employment at The Division for Lifelong Learning with Prof Shirley Walters. In 2017, she started at the Directorate of Teaching and Learning with Prof Vivienne Bozalek, after DLL merged with the Directorate.
Tania  has completed the Management Development Programme (MDP), the Senior Management Development Programme (SMDP), Advanced Diploma in Management (ADM) and a Post Graduate Diploma in Business Administration (PGDBA), all at the School of Business and Finance, UWC. 
Ms Andrea Coetzee
Ms Andrea Coetzee is the Administrative officer in the Directorate of Learning, Teaching & Student Success. Her roles and responsibilities are Assisting the Director, Co-ordinators of different programmes as well as the Learning & Teaching Specialist in co- ordinating Workshops, Seminars and Courses.

Other roles include creating requisitions, data analysis, DLTSS website maintenance, as well as assisting the Director with daily operations when the Senior Administrator is on leave.

Andrea is currently studying music working towards an ATCL and LTCL in music with the goal to teach music once she graduates.

Programmes offered by DLTSS

Induction programme:
Coordinator: Prof. L. Hassan and Dr. Mervyn Coetzee

A two-day induction programme is held for all newly appointed academic staff to orientate them to the structure and culture of the academic environment. The objectives of the Induction programme are manifold and include the following:
  1. To orientate newly appointed academics towards UWC policies and frameworks related to learning and teaching, and student success;
  2. To inform academics about the role of relevant stakeholders and support structures pertaining to learning and teaching, and student success; and
  3. To provide guidance and direction with regard to strategic career development.

Postgraduate Diploma in Higher Education in Teaching and Learning
Institutional coordinator: Prof. L. Hassan

The Postgraduate Diploma in Higher Education in Teaching and Learning (PGDip (HE)(T&L)) is a formal, NQF level 8 qualification offered part-time over a two-year period to university teachers­­­­­.  The programme is offered as collaborative endeavour between CPUT, Stellenbosch University and the University of the Western Cape. 

The aims of the programme are to:
  1. Build capacity in the enhancement of teaching, learning and assessment at higher education level.
  2. Inculcate knowledge and skills on conducting research in higher education­­.
  3. Provide entry into a master’s qualification in education.
The PGDip (HE)(T&L) comprises three core modules:
  1. Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (TALHE);
  2. Assessment in Higher Education (AHE); and
  3. Research for enhancing Teaching and Learning. 
Candidates must also choose an elective module from a list of the following:
  1. ICTs for teaching and learning;
  2. Citizenship, Social inclusion and Difference;
  3. Academic Leadership and Management;
  4. Postgraduate Supervision;
  5. Service Learning and Community Engagement;
  6. Work and Learning;
  7. Recognition of Prior Learning.

In offering these modules, a blended learning approach is applied in that face-to-face contact sessions (5 days for each module) and an online platform is used.  The modules include formative and summative assessment.  Candidates must attain at least 50 % in each module to pass.


Units in the Directorate

The University of the Western Cape has pioneered as a leader in the policy development and implementation of Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) within South Africa’s higher education landscape. RPL is an integral part of the Admissions Policy at UWC and finds expression in a range of services to support mature students (23 years and older) seeking alternative access into higher education degree programmes at UWC. 

“Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is the formal acknowledgement of the knowledge, skills, competence, expertise and capabilities that people possess as a result of prior learning that may have occurred through formal, informal or non-formal means, through self-study, work or other life experiences.”  

The domain of RPL is aligned to the main elements of the South African national policy discourse since 1994, with a specific focus of achieving transformation; accreditation; lifelong learning; and complying with the National qualifications framework (NQF) of South Africa. The main purpose of RPL is to facilitate access to, mobility across and progression within education, training and career paths.

Contact: Dr Rekha Rambharose
For more information about Recognition for Prior Learning, please click here.

The University of the Western Cape’s Writing Centre ​​aims to help student writers to develop their academic reading and writing practices in a constructive and supportive academic space. Trained peer writing tutors help students to develop, revise and refine their writing assignment before it has to be submitted for assessment.

The Writing Centre works in collaboration with the students through asking questions, engaging in discussion and giving advice and guidance. The writing centre also provides advice and support to staff. 

All services are free of charge.

A supportive academic environment is provided to all students: undergraduate, RPL and diploma students. Postgraduate students should approach the Postgraduate Enrolment and Throughput Programme (PET) for assistance.

Contact: Dr Arona Dison
For more information on the Writing Centre, please click here.