EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S OFFICE
Executive Director – Administration
The Office of the Executive Director – Administration provides administrative support to teaching and learning activities of the University. It has an oversight responsibility over the following areas of operation:
- Human Resources
- Information and Communication Technology
Having been established in 2013, Eswatini Medical Christian University is a young Institution. Among other developmental challenges it does not have adequate funding for its operations. For this reason, the recruitment and retention of appropriately qualified academics or professors is a challenge.
During the period under review the staffing position was as follows:
Prof In Whan Kim
Up to December 2018
Prof I T Zwane
Also Acting VC to date
Mr S S Vilakati
Also Acting Registrar
Mrs L Khumalo
The position of Vice Chancellor and Bursar have already been addressed.
Academic and Administrative Staff
Medical Laboratory Science
Head of Grounds men
Bio filter Operator
The University does not have a full staff compliment at the present and vacant positions will be filled as the financial position improves.
The University is pleased to report that it signed a Recognition Agreement with the NAWUSHI, the Staff Union. This will go a long way in improving the working relations between the employer and employees.
The parties then went on to negotiate the Terms and Conditions of Service including the salary structure.
In terms of the Memorandum of Agreement between the Government of Eswatini and the African Continent Mission, the University is responsible for the maintenance of the building and infrastructure provided by the mission.
In the absence of a Bursar, the Executive Director is overseeing the operations of the Bursary. There are currently two sources of revenue for the University. These are Government subvention and tuition fees. For 2018/2019 the total budget was E42 million. Following the challenges and subsequent closure of the University by the Swaziland Higher Education Council in 2017, there were uncertainties about the continued operation of the Institution. This affected the annual audit by KPMG which was already underway for 2015. This audit is almost complete and once signed off by the Council KPMG will proceed with the 2016 and subsequent years audits. The University has welcomed the increase of the subvention from E5.4 million to E10.8 million. This will help particularly in addressing the issue of staff salaries and benefits. Staff salaries alone account for about 60% of the University budget. Because of budgetary constraints, the University has been unable to remit mandatory PAYE to Eswatini Revenue Authority (ERA) over the years and this accumulated a debt of E7 million including interest and penalties. Going forward the Institution is committed to working an arrangement for servicing its debt and meeting its monthly obligations. Also, the University will, through its parent Ministry, engage the Ministry of Finance and ERA with a view to having the interest and penalties waived in respect of the debt with ERA. Further, the University is unable to pay its creditors timely because tuition fees in respect of Government-sponsored students are sometimes delayed. This forces the Institution to apply for an overdraft facility from time to time with its banker to save the situation and pay staff salaries.
The Marketing Department strives to promote the institution, making it a known and cherished brand nationally and internationally. Since the establishment of the marketing department, a significant improvement has been observed. The University has managed to create brochures which provide information on the institution, what it stands for and provide brief information on the various programmes offered. These have been used mainly during educational outreach programmes. The outreach programmes are a platform where the department gets to speak about the institution and invite applications from prospective students at high school level.
In the past year the department attended ten outreach programmers in the four regions of the country. These outreach programmes are organised by the different schools. What is of interest is that the programmes brought together schools within that region such that each event was attended by at least ten (10) schools. The number of pupils in attendance was approximately 500. These programmes offered the opportunity to discuss face-to-face with prospective students, addressing their questions and also explaining other courses which they were not aware of. The department believes that such participation in the events has had a significant impact in the number of application received over the year. The department is confident that through its participation in the programmes, courses that received low applications in the past will record a slight increase as pupils got to understand them better and develop an interest after being enlightened.
The Department over the year also embarked in the process of revamping the institution’s website, working with the website designer. This was one of the key achievements of the department considering the importance of having an informative and up-to-date web page. Living in a world where technology is the preferred medium for communication, when creating the platform, the department aimed to create a tool that the institution could use to communicate with the potential students, enrolled students and the world. New students can now download application forms online. The department is now completely ready to introduce the online application system, something that will leave an indelible mark in the history of the institution. It is hoped that in the near future the institution will disseminate results online. This process that is still being tested for security purposes.
The University is outsourcing security services. The main challenge is that the built up area does not have a perimeter fence and this is a security risk. Further, most of our students are accommodated in the neighbourhood which is infested with all kinds of crimes. Various options are being considered for providing secure residence for students.
Information and Communication Technology
The purpose of the Information and Communication Technology includes:
- Installing and configuring computer hardware, software, systems, networks and printers;
- Responding timely to computer and network related problems;
- Providing technical support across the University; and
- Setting up accounts for new users.
During the period under review the University had serious internet problems due to funding problems. This affected the work of the staff, students and Management.
The notable achievement of the Unit, however, was the launching of the University website which can now be viewed at the following address: www.emcu.ac.sz
In 2018/19 academic year, the Registrar’s position was vacant. The Executive Director Administration was appointed Acting Registrar following the resignation of Dr G N Dlamini in 2017.
The Registrar’s Office is responsible for application, registration, examinations, student records, graduation and all Senate matters. In 2018 the office contributed in the organisation of the First Graduation held in July 2018. As there was a delay in holding the class of 2013 (the first class), the second graduation ceremony was held in November the same year. The statistics of the two graduation ceremonies were as follows: