The Kresge Foundation invited South Africa’s public universities to apply to participate in the Siyaphumelela programme. The five selected universities have provided a plan to improve their institutional capacity to collect and analyze student data and integrate it with institutional research, information technology systems, academic development, planning and academic divisions within their institutions to increase student success. The Foundation will provide four years of institutional support, plus potential bonus grants, to the participating universities. Funded universities will join the Siyaphumelela network and will be required to agree to abide by shared goals to help improve the nation’s ability to use data to drive student success.
Specifically, the goals of the Siyaphumelela programme are:
- Improve capacity to collect student data and integrate it with Institutional Research, Information and Communication Technology (ICT), academic development, planning, student support and academic divisions.
- Create South African models of universities using successful data analytics to improve student outcomes.
- Create a greater awareness and support for data use to improve student success in South Africa (collaborating with existing and new South African national initiatives wherever possible).
- Create and highlight a shared vocabulary and consensus on especially effective practices to improve student success.
- Enlarge the cadre of experienced data analytics professionals supporting student success.