The Siyaphumelela (“We Succeed”) initiative seeks to broaden evidence-based postsecondary student success strategies across South Africa.
In its second phase - Siyaphumelela Network 2.0 – aims to carry forward the work, achievements and learning from the first phase of the initiative which involved five South African universities (Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in Port Elizabeth, University of the Free State in Bloemfontein, University of Pretoria, University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, and Durban University of Technology) focused on using data analytics to improve student experiences and success and expand these learnings across the South African higher education sector.
To catalyse student success across the South African higher education system, the key goals of the Siyaphumelela Network are to:
- Establish a more student-centred culture in South Africa’s higher education system to improve student completion rates and reduce race and gender equity differences
- Improve institutional capacity to collect and use student data to improve student success across the higher education system
- Expand evidence-based student success efforts on a national scale, using a networked approach that builds on existing strengths, shares capacity throughout the system, and serves institutions based on their current needs and abilities.
Africa is the only place the Kresge Foundation works outside of the United States. They began funding South African universities in 1989, and to date have invested nearly $30 million to promote South African postsecondary access and success – especially improving student graduation rates.
In 2014, they launched the Siyaphumelela (“We Succeed”) initiative to encourage the use of data analytics to enhance South African university student success. Specifically, Siyaphumelela seeks to build institutional capacity to collect and analyze student data to determine when and why students are not succeeding so that institutions can focus on the most effective interventions through the learnings of the expanded network.
The Siyaphumelela Network 2.0, the second phase of the programme which builds on the experiences of the past six years of the Siyaphumelela initiative is led by Saide, and informed by student success innovators from across the world, such as the University Innovation Alliance and Achieving the Dream.
The Kresge foundation continues to support the second phase of the programme which remains committed to identifying cost-effective methods of delivering high-quality postsecondary instruction through the latest technological and productivity advances.
Siyaphumelela Partner Institutions play a leading role in the development of new tools for their own institution and for the system, lead and support development of a regional network, provide services, and make use of and learn from other services.
Siyaphumelela Associate Institutions, are high performing new members of the Siyaphumelela Network, and provide additional services as appropriate and could either lead or contribute to the regional networks. In addition, they make use of and learn from other services.
Siyaphumelela Participant Institutions are more developmental in their orientation and contribute to regional networks and make use of services to develop their institutions.
Siyaphumelela Partners, Associates and Participants
- Cape Peninsula University of Technology
- Durban University of Technology
- Nelson Mandela University
- North-West University
- Sol Plaatje University
- University of Cape Town
- University of Free State
- University of KwaZulu-Natal
- University of Pretoria
- University of the Witwatersrand
- University of Venda
- University of Western Cape
- University of Zululand
- Walter Sisulu University
- Bala Pillay
Bala Pillay obtained his PhD from the University of Würzburg, Germany and has worked at the University of KwaZulu-Natal for 42 years, occupying various Academic, Senior Management, and Executive positions.
- Delysia Timm
Delysia Timm has over 30 years experience in South African higher education, as a lecturer, an academic development practitioner, a strategic projects manager, and at various managerial levels.
- Elizabeth Booi
With more than 17 years of experience in the business intelligence and management of information Elizabeth is a Business Intelligence (BI) Data Scientist Architect in the Office of the Rector and Vice-Chancellor, Institutional Planning Department at the University of the Western Cape.
- Ermien van Pletzen
Ermien van Pletzen is an Associate Professor in the Centre for Higher Education Development at the University of Cape Town in South Africa and is director of the Academic Development Programme.
- Nthabiseng Ogude
Nthabiseng Audrey Ogude is an Analytical Chemist, Science Educator and currently Professor and Dean of the Mamelodi Campus of the University of Pretoria.
- Wendy Kilfoil
Professor Wendy Kilfoil has worked in higher education for the past 38 years. She is currently a teaching and learning consultant at the University of Pretoria where she was Director: Education Innovation from 2008 to 2018. She is also on the Higher Education Quality Committee of the CHE.
- Alan Amory
Senior Programme Specialist: Learning Technologies (Project lead)
- Ephraim Mhlanga
Programme Specialist: Quality Assurance
- Fatima Rahiman
Programme Specialist: Learning Technologies
- Jenny Glennie
- Maureen Madonsela
- Takalani Rambau
Programme Specialist: Siyaphumelela Network (Deputy Lead)