‘WSU will not lose LLB’

GIVING HOPE: Walter Sisulu University deputy vice-chancellor, Professor Sechaba Mahlomaholo, addresses the Mthatha campus graduation yesterday, reassuring students that the university would not lose its accreditation to offer LLB courses Picture: LULAMILE FENI
GIVING HOPE: Walter Sisulu University deputy vice-chancellor, Professor Sechaba Mahlomaholo, addresses the Mthatha campus graduation yesterday, reassuring students that the university would not lose its accreditation to offer LLB courses Picture: LULAMILE FENI
Walter Sisulu University management has urged the Eastern Cape community not to panic over threats that the university would lose its law degree accreditation.

Sixty-four joyous, ululating men and women graduated with law degrees at the Mthatha campus yesterday. When the new graduates emerged from residence in their smart outfits, gowns, hoods, and mortar board hats, the student body cheered and ululated.

This month more than 5000 WSU students will graduate with qualifications in the various faculties. Mthatha campus will see see 2294 students graduating and a further 20 will receive their masters degrees, while seven will achieve their doctorates.

Addressing the Mthatha campus graduation ceremony at the Nelson Mandela Drive campus, deputy vice-chancellor Professor Sechaba Mahlomaholo yesterday said: “There is no crisis and people need not fear”. He said all the law programmes remained accredited.

The Council on Higher Education (CHE) last month issued a warning to WSU to hire the required academic staff to lecture LLB courses – or face losing accreditation.

“WSU has full accreditation for all programmes. We have just been given time by the accreditation bodies to improve in a few areas with regard to our curriculum offerings in line with the new compliance regimes,” Mahlomaholo said.

“Currently, when you leave this institution with your certificate, you can rest assured that it means something.

“That is why you continue to find our graduates occupying senior executive management positions in private and public sectors across the country – and even the world.”

He said they had a multi-programme strategy for the medium- and long-term and that the university had been given two years to fix the issues. “In the law degrees one of the things highlighted is the appointment of more staff and to have leading scholars appointed.

“We are in the process of recruiting and each department will have a professor or associated professor. “We have been given six months to submit the plan but the implementation is for two years as part.

“We are recruiting new members, upskilling our members and there is a lot of money invested in terms of research development. We are assuring that in six months time we will have our plan in place,” Mahlomaholo said.

“WSU head of communication Yonela Tukwayo, speaking to the Daily Dispatch afterwards, said:

“Since last year we have struggled to get scholars to come and work in the Eastern Cape especially in Mthatha which is most rural.

“We received R183-million from the department of Higher Education and Training for various projects, including infrastructure development because that was one of the things highlighted by the review panel,” she said.

Convocation president Zincedile Tiya said: “All the qualifications WSU are offering are still accredited and of good quality.

“Yes CHE (Council on Higher Education) came to audit our LLB degree in which they made some recommendations we must correct in moving forward, and as council we had vowed to ensure that everything they require will met. We just need to employ a few doctors of law and professors in law to lead the school of law,” Tiya said.

Tiya, a Mthatha attorney, said graduates who did not enter the court system were welcome to stay at WSU and further their academic careers in law. — lulamilef@dispatch.co.za

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