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Statement on University Governance

The governance of the University is regulated by the Higher Education Act, Act 101 of 1997, as amended, and the Institutional Statute of 2002, as amended, and is a bicameral system of the lay-dominated Council on the one hand and the academic sector (Senate and Faculty Boards) on the other. Added to these structures is the statutory advisory committee or University Forum that includes management, academic staff, professional and administrative staff and students, which must be consulted with regard to major policy decisions.

Management of policy in the University is in the hands of the Vice-Chancellor and Principal and the Senior Executive Team (SET). The affairs of the University's alumni are governed through the Executive Committee of Convocation.

The pertinent sections of the legislation are:

  • Management of the University (as in Governance) is in the hands of the Council (s27 HEA);
  • Academic and research functions are performed by Senate (s28 HEA);
  • The Vice-Chancellor and Principal and SET (s30 HEA read with s26(2)(g)); and
  • Relationship between the structures:
    • Council and Vice-Chancellor and Principal (s34 HEA 20(2)(h)Stat);
    • Vice-Chancellor and Principal is accountable to Council (7)(4)Stat);
    • Senate and Vice-Chancellor and Principal - Vice-Chancellor and Principal is chairperson of Senate (s26(4)(a) HEA);
    • Council and Senate - Senate is accountable to Council (s28 HEA);
    • University Forum and Council – University Forum must advise Council on certain issues (s31 (1)(a) HEA) and University Forum must perform such functions as determined by Council (s31(1)(b)HEA);
    • SET and Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Council and Senate - not provided for in Act or Statute; and
    • Vice-Chancellor and Principal and Executive of Convocation - the Chief Executive Officer participates in the deliberations of the Committee.

    Furthermore, the University’ governance practices are continually being reviewed and improved by benchmarking against internationally accepted best practices and King III.

    Governance Framework and Committee Structure

      Governance Structure and Vice-Chancellor's Advisory Bodies


    Key Governance Documents

      Download the Wits Statute 2018


      Hierarchy of Academic Governance