Job Details

  • Reference number: AP1087
  • Province: Western Cape
  • Type of engagement: Permanent appointment
  • Posted: June 3rd

Background to Position

LOCATION:  Cape Town

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

The purpose of the Registrar is:

  • To serve 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.
  • To provide 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 whistle- blower 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.
  • To serve as 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 fulfill their policymaking and governance roles.
  • To be 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.
  • To be 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.
  • To give leadership in the administration of the University, and to contribute advice across a wide range 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 for Higher Education; the Legal Advisors’ Forum and similar bodies.
  • To represent the University internally and externally as required.

Job Description

KPA 1: Governance, Policy and Committee Services

  • Oversee the work of the Registrar’s Secretariat.
  • Act as Statutory Secretary to Council, Senate and Convocation.
  • Advise chairs of Council (external), Senate and the President of Convocation (external).
  • Lead and manage the processes for appointment / election to the statutory bodies and ensure that all bodies are correctly constituted.
  • Ensure efficient and accurate administration and servicing of Council, Senate (plenary and via the Principal’s Circular) and Convocation – and a multitude of sub-committees, advisory groups, task teams and ad hoc committees.
  • Ensure a coherent annual calendar of meeting dates, suitably structured and integrated to enable and facilitate the work of the multiple parts of the operation of the University. The annual calendar is the timeline plan for the work of the relied on by academic departments, each of the faculties and GSB and multiple support departments.

KPA 2: Strategy Development, Policy and Execution

  • Provide leadership in and give advice to University governing bodies, committees and management groups.
  • Work with the senior executive team to contribute to the development of the overall long-term strategy of the University, and strategic interventions in respect of major challenges affecting the institution on shorter-term basis.
  • Exercise delegated authority ensuring the protection of the University’s interests.
  • Information security policy owner related to role responsibility for information and data.
  • Role-related responsibility for the university’s electronic communication system (ECS), including the UCT network.
  • Chair of the core group to respond to cyber security incidents (critical for business continuity, stakeholder confidence, institutional reputation, insurance requirements).

KPA 3: Legal Services

  • Accountability for compliance with the Higher Education (HE) Act and the UCT Institutional Statute.
  • Review the Institutional Statute and Institutional Rules, recommend and draft amendments, lead the consultation processes internally and externally (alum) where amendments are proposed, and manage the engagement with DoHET for Ministerial approval and gazette process.
  • Responsible, under Council’s delegated authority, for instituting legal action in the name of the University and defending action against the University in any court of competent jurisdiction.
  • Submit or authorise the submission of applications to join as an amicus of the court in the name of the University.
  • Ensure UCT complies with related University policies, procedures, and schedules.
  • Oversight of legal services provided by the Director of Legal Services and his/her staff.
  • Other than research and UCT Foundation contracts, review and advise on all other university contracts in terms of the Council schedule of delegated authority.
  • Signatory, with nominated senior staff on contracts in terms of the Council schedule of delegated authority.
  • Plan, organize, direct, control, review and oversee the interpretation and implementation of UCT policies and legislation.
  • Ensure that practices comply with PAJA and fair administrative law requirements.
  • Ensure provision of a professional legal service to UCT.
  • Research and implement best practice related to student discipline to ensure efficient, accurate and fair implementation and administration of student discipline.
  • Give advice on draft legislation and policy and legal compliance.
  • Compile, create and supply legal documents and rules.
  • Ensure compliance with Promotion of Access to Information Act, and perform the duties of UCT’s PAIA Deputy Information Officer.
  • Exercise delegated authority for legal responsibilities.

KPA 4: Academic Administration

  • Oversight of the work of the Deputy Registrar: Academic Administration, Director of Student Admissions, Director Student Systems Support in the planning and management of all academic administration.
  • Accountability for the integrity of the academic record, and all forms of certification of academic achievement of past and present students.
  • Active and leading participation in the work of committees.
  • Review systems and change.
  • Monitoring, evaluation and reporting:

        Provide data, analysis and information in support of planning and decision-making at all levels within the university,              Manage the HEMIS student, and qualification returns.

  • The planning and management of all academic administration, including but not limited to:


        Applications and recruitment,



        Course & Class scheduling,

        Disputes and appeals,



        Graduation and other congregations,

        Student records and archival services,

        Student systems and support,

        University handbooks,

        Year-end processing.

KPA 5: Operations Management and the Control Environment:

  • Ensure an effective archival service for University records.
  • Adopt and apply the OHS Act S16(2) functions for Bremner and surrounds.
  • Chair Stage IV grievances for PASS staff across the operations and in all faculties and PASS departments of the University. Responsible for concluding Stage IV, including deciding the outcome.
  • Chair appeals lodged by dismissed PASS staff across departments and faculties following formal disciplinary processes and sanctions. Responsible for deciding the appeal.
  • Own the institutional whistleblower hotline policy guideline as confirmed by Council’s University Audit Committee and implement required steps in relation to cases and complaints reported.

KPA 6: Stakeholder Relations, Management and Partnerships:

  • Establish a student-centered culture.
  • Counsel and advise students, faculty, and staff on academic matters.
  • Interpret and enforce policies and regulations of the University.
  • Liaise with Deans, Deputy Deans, HoD’s committee chairs, and central administration on academic policy decisions.
  • Ensure senior management team constantly informed of strategic developments and trends in student and academic administrative-related matters, and general issues related to governance.
  • Liaise with professional organizations and bodies including the Higher Education Quality Committee, the Matriculation Board and South African Qualifications Authority.
  • Respond to and liaise with members of the alum community as needed.
  • Establish and maintain open communication channels with the Department of Higher Education, Science and Technology, the Council on Higher Education, the Western Cape Education Department.
  • Actively participation in:

        the Higher Education South Africa Registrars’ Forum,

        Legal fraternity (Cape Bar and Gauteng Bar),

        Convocation and Alumni Advisory Board – Alumni Relations,

        International Education Association of SA.

  • University Legal Practitioners Forum.
  • Western Cape Registrars’ Forum.

KPA 7: Resource Management: Budget and People:

  • Prepare and monitor the annual budget of the Registrar's Office.
  • Plan, manage and report on the budget and expenditure.
  • Manage procurement and payment within the budget, ensuring compliance with spending rules and reviewing and authorizing expenditure.
  • Motivate for additional budget if the need arises.
  • Design and plan staffing structure to the Office of the Registrar to ensure appropriate services can be delivered.
  • Recruit, select and induct staff.
  • Manage performance.
  • Delegate responsibility and allocate work.
  • Recommend remuneration.
  • Manage staff training, development, coaching and mentoring.
  • Manage employment relations (grievance, discipline and conflict resolution).
  • Manage staff leave.
  • Ensure a productive climate for staff, including nurturing of, and respect for, diversity.
  • Ensure compliance with HR procedures and guidelines.

Inherent Criteria

Minimum Qualification(s)

  • A NQF 9 qualification and/or professional equivalent qualification.

Minimum Experience

  • 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 organisational, communication and problem-solving skills.
  • The ability to build and maintain 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.
  • A detailed knowledge of:

        applicable legislation and policies,

        how universities operate and a sense of needs and priorities,

        the operation of universities’ academic core business and the related institutional administrative and operational                  systems,

        HEMIS reporting requirements.

Application Requirement

A covering letter which addresses the above criteria, including a statement on your potential contribution as Registrar.

  • The HR204 application form for Senior Executive Posts available at: 
  • A comprehensive CV.
  • An abridged CV.
  • Names and contact details for at least 3 referees.
  • Certified copies of matric and degree certificates and Identity Document.

To apply please forward your application quoting reference number AP1087 in a single pdf file Genevieve Michel c/o