Job Details

  • Reference number: E230351
  • Province: Western Cape
  • Type of engagement: Permanent appointment
  • Posted: October 11th

Background to Position

The University of Cape Town (UCT) is seeking to appoint its next Registrar. The present incumbent will retire at the end of 2024. The University is seeking to appoint a Registrar-Designate for appointment as soon as possible who will be required to work with the current incumbent and then take up the position as Registrar with effect from 1 January 2025.

The Registrar serves as a member of the senior executive team, supporting the Vice-Chancellor, Council and Senate, to lead, govern and manage the strategic direction of the University.

We invite applications from candidates who are experienced in providing leadership in respect of the institution’s structures of governance, to give leadership in the administration of the University, and to contribute advice across a wide and extensive network of internal institutional structures.

The Registrar reports directly to the Vice-Chancellor, is head of the University’s Academic Administration, and has accountability and overall responsibility for all legal matters. The Registrar is secretary to the Council, Senate and Convocation, providing service and advice to these bodies, as well as to the University’s executive officers, deans and heads of department.

We require the successful candidate (within a reasonable time frame) to be able to acquire a detailed knowledge of applicable legislation, policies and procedures of UCT. The successful candidate will be someone who is able to inspire confidence and exercise authority amongst the internal and external stakeholders of the University community.

Job Description

Key Responsibilities include: 

  • Providing leadership in respect of the institution’s structures of governance; its academic administration; the legal services of the University; the secretariat and institutional records; student systems support; the external whistleblower hotline; information governance and data privacy protection; response plans in cases of data breaches; and overall institutional compliance with key legislation, the institutional statute and policies of the Council.
  • Being the secretary to the statutory bodies in terms of the Higher Education Act, these being the Council, the Senate and the Convocation, providing the services and advice to these bodies necessary for them to fulfil their policymaking and governance roles.
  • Being accountable and have overall responsibility for all legal matters across the University and in the name of the University for instituting and defending legal action, in order to ensure that the University’s interests are protected at all times. In this capacity the Registrar plans, organizes, directs, controls, reviews and oversees the interpretation and implementation of UCT policies and legislation.
  • Being the head of the University's academic administration, and in this role to be accountable and have overall responsibility for the academic administration of the University, for the student record, for certification and for systems supporting student recruitment, admission, registration, and examination.
  • Providing leadership in the administration of the University, and to contribute advice across a wide and extensive network of internal institutional structures.
  • To be active in the higher education sector and have an impact beyond UCT, through the structures of Universities South Africa; the Registrars’ Imbizo; the Council on Higher Education; the Legal Advisors’ Forum; and the like.
  • Representing the University internally and externally as required.

The 2024 annual cost of employment, including benefits, is appropriate to the Senior Executive level.

Inherent Criteria

Requirements for this position:

The successful candidate is expected to meet the following criteria:

  • A NQF 9 qualification and/or professional equivalent qualification
  • 10 years relevant experience at a tertiary institution of which 5 years should have been in the senior management of the academic administration and legal affairs of a complex higher education institution, with further experience in strategy, communication and change management.
  • A proven track record of strategic leadership. 
  • Knowledge of and the ability to implement legal and administrative policies and procedures.
  • Excellent organizational, communication and problem-solving skills.
  • The ability to build interpersonal relationships and partnerships.
  • Financial, resource and people management skills.
  • Ability to participate and thrive in a leadership environment which can present multiple demands at any time.
  • Strong written and oral communication skills.
  • Proven track record of facilitating transformation at various institutional levels.
  • In-depth knowledge and understanding of the higher education system in South Africa.

Requisite Knowledge and Skills:

  • Detailed knowledge of applicable legislation and policies
  • Detailed knowledge of how universities operate and a sense of needs and priorities
  • Detailed knowledge of the operation of universities’ academic core business and the related institutional administrative and operational systems
  • Detailed knowledge of the HEMIS reporting requirements

Application Requirement

For more detailed information on this post, please view the position description on the following link: (view)

To apply, please e-mail the below documents (ideally in a single pdf file) to Mr Craig Alexander at recruitment01@uct.ac.za

  • A covering letter which addresses the above criteria, including a statement on your potential contribution as Registrar; 
  • Your full curriculum vitae with the names and contact details of three referees; 
  • The HR204 application form for Senior Executive Posts available at: http://forms.uct.ac.za/hr204.doc

Please ensure the title and reference number are indicated in the subject line.

An application which does not comply with the above requirements will be regarded as incomplete. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and will be required to undergo assessments.

Contact number:    +27 (0) 21 650 5429

Reference number:    E230351

Closing date:             05 November 2023

UCT is a designated employer and is committed to the pursuit of excellence, diversity, and redress in achieving its equity targets in accordance with the Employment Equity Plan of the University and its Employment Equity goals and targets. Preference will be given to candidates from the under-represented designated groups. Our Employment Equity Policy is available at www.uct.ac.za/downloads/uct.ac.za/about/policies/eepolicy.pdf. 

The University reserves the right to extend the closing date if deemed necessary and reserves the right to make no appointment.

About University of Cape Town

The University of Cape Town (UCT) is South Africa's oldest university, and is one of Africa's leading teaching and research institutions. UCT was founded in 1829 as the South African College, a high school for boys. The College had a small tertiary-education facility that grew substantially after 1880, when the discovery of gold and diamonds in the north – and the resulting demand for skills in mining – gave it the financial boost it needed to grow. The College developed into a fully fledged university during the period 1880 to 1900, thanks to increased funding from private sources and the government.