- Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University (SMU) is the only Health Sciences University in South Africa established in 2014. The University has five Schools offering a range of academic programmes:
a. School of Health Care Sciences
b. School of Medicine
c. School of Pharmacy
d. School of Oral Health Sciences
e. School of Science and Technology
- The University has over 80 academic programmes on offer from undergraduate to postgraduate study levels. Plans are also afoot to increase the number of qualifications aligned to the comprehensive character of the University. This will enable the University over time to offer Higher Certificate, Diplomas, Advanced Diplomas, Bachelors, Postgraduate Diplomas, Honours, Masters and Doctoral degrees.
- Although a Health Sciences focussed institution, the University also boasts one (1) DST/NRF Chair and over ten (10) National Research Foundation rated researchers.
- In terms of student profile, the University has enrolled over 6600 students in 2021, from a low base of just over 4000 students in 2015. The new business model approved by the Council and supported by the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) will see the total number of enrolled students increasing significantly to over 10 000 by 2030.
- In order to improve the governance and administration of the University, the Council of the University has approved for implementation over fifty (50) new policies, procedures and protocols since 2015. The approval of these policies, procedures and protocols have laid a solid foundation for effective institutional governance and administration of the University.
- Infrastructure planning is key in ensuring that University assets are expanded in line with student growth and that the existing infrastructure is preserved in line with the Maintenance regime that is in line with best practice. To this end, the Council has approved for implementation, the following:
6.1 2000-bed student residence, the construction of which began in 2021
6.2 Renovation of the student and staff cafeteria, the construction of which began in 2021
6.3 Commercialisation Strategy, with a view to increasing the University’s third stream income
6.4 Infrastructure maintenance strategy and plan
6.5 800-bed student residence, the funding for which was ultimately approved by the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation
6.6 Library Upgrade Project, the funding for which was eventually approved by the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation
6.7 2021 – 2025 Strategic Plan of the University
6.8 Actual graduate headcount increased from 1186 in 2019 to 1337 in 2020, a remarkable increase by 12.7%, and exceeding the 2020 target by 12%. The undergraduate degree credit success rate increased from 86.7% in 2019 to 95.7% in 2020 against the set target of 86%. The total degree credit success rate was 84.9% against a target of 76%.
6.9 Of the total permanent instructional/research staff, 302 (47.4%) hold a masters qualification and 130 (20.4%) have a doctorate as highest qualification, indicating an increase by 6.6% for instructional/research staff with doctoral degree qualification.
6.10 Number of research publication output units increased from 106.7 in 2019 to 174.6 in 2020, translating to an increase by 63.6% and exceeding the 2020 target by 35%. The number of research masters units decreased from 66 in 2019 to 54.5 in 2020 with research doctoral units increasing from 15 in 2019 to 36 in 2020, a remarkable increase by 140%. In total, research output units increased from 192.2 in 2019 to 265.05 in 2020, an increase by 37.9%.
6.11 SMU’s Department of General Surgery is the first in South Africa to make use of the Hot Axios Stent Technique (HAST) to relieve a patient suffering from jaundice, due to an obstruction in his bile duct. Although this technique has been in use for several years overseas, it was used for the first time to relieve bile duct obstruction in both the private and public sectors, in South Africa.
6.12 Paediatric Oncology Unit received Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) accreditation. The Dr George Mukhari Academic Hospital (DGHAH) and SMU were accredited by the HPCSA with a subspecialty training unit of paediatric oncology. The unit hopes to offer radiotherapy services and also conduct a lot of research in the future.
6.13 The university made history when it broke into uniRanks’s top 200 popular and recognized institutions of higher learning in Africa. SMU is ranked number 184 out of about 1300 institutions in the African continent.
6.14 Residences – SMU strives to provide living and learning communities in a home away from home environment, directed at exploring and exploiting our students’ full potential. The university provides 80% of its total registered students with accommodation in on- and off-campus facilities. We upgraded our firewall and Wi-Fi connectivity in the residences and successfully migrated our hosted learning management system to the cloud which enhanced the ability to cope with the large traffic occasioned by the increase in online teaching and learning. We also had growth in our broad band from a mere 100Mbps to 10Gbps.
6.15 Following an extensive audit of its network infrastructure, the university has embarked on an ambitious forklift upgrade of the entire ICT network and infrastructure, which would guide its future information and technology roll-out. This major investment would modernize and secure our network, and server and provide a new fibre-optic cable infrastructure. This will provide adequate capacity and resilience where possible, and sufficient connectivity on campus, both wired and for pervasive Wi-Fi to allow students and staff to work flexibly on a variety of devices, including their own.
6.16 The University has received unmodified audit opinion in 2018, 2019 and 2020 financial years, a testimony that its financial position is sound.
Senior representatives from 23 South African Institutions, including vice chancellors and deputy chancellors, representatives from the National Research Foundation (NRF) and the South African Department of Higher Education (DHET), attended South Africa and France...