A vibrant, equitable and sustainable African university, committed to teaching and research excellence at the service of its students, scholars and the wider community.
To provide high-quality education of international standards contributing to the advancement of knowledge that is socially and ethically relevant and applying technological and socio-economic development of our nation and the wider world.
- Integrity - To respect and affirm the dignity, equality, freedom and rich cultural diversity of all human beings as the basis for peace and social justice, the pursuit of truth, intellectual honesty, and openness to ideas.
- Excellence - To be recognised as an international centre for excellence that is both rooted in its environment and sensitive to the challenges of human progress, and to foster a culture of teaching and learning and research excellence in the University as a basic minimum requirement for living up to the claim of being a site of knowledge generation.
- Innovation - To focus on the challenges presented by new information technologies, information management systems and processes, and opportunities for innovation. And to do so in an enterprising way that benefits the University and humanity.
- Ethics - The attainment of the highest professional and ethical standards in teaching, learning, research, community engagement and corporate governance.
Excellence in teaching and learning, research and community engagement;
This strategic objective focuses on the broad social vision which is required to sustain the University as an international centre for excellence that is both rooted in its environment and sensitive to the challenges of human progress; the imperative to revive a culture of teaching and learning and research excellence in the University as a basic minimum requirement for living up to the claim of being a site of knowledge generation and in order to be able to compare with similar institutions elsewhere in the world; and the fundamental mission of the contemporary African university and the inter-connection between that mission and broad-ranging expectations of the social responsibilities of the University to the communities it serves. It also focuses on accessing new technologies that could facilitate teaching and learning, and research.
Improve the Student Experience:
This strategic objective has to do with managing the experience of student life at the University, so that critical, engaged citizens and appropriately skilled graduates leave the University of Fort Hare. It focuses on the administrative, residential, sporting, cultural and social support systems for students.
Build a Service Culture:
This objective is designed to ensure that the ethical principles of service and ethos of service excellence permeate the University culture, for students, staff and stakeholders; as well as improved efficiencies in administrative and management systems that support the primary processes.
Optimise the Multi-Campus model:
This objective introduces the ‘Planets in Alignment’ model as the optimal model for our multi-campus university and describes how we intend to leverage the relative strengths and strategic niches of each of our three campuses while ensuring equivalence of status and coordination across the geographic space.
Harness Technology Effectively:
This objective focuses on the challenges presented by new information technologies in terms of the investments that need to be made, information management systems and processes, and opportunities for innovation.
Develop Human Resources:
This objective is about refreshing – or possibly re-negotiating – the psychological and developmental contract with our staff. We will also have to revisit our models of management and leadership and significantly improve our management capacity and capability. Managers will need to take responsibility for managing and supporting staff to make the transition to a new balance of activities, considering new models of teaching and learning, and planning staffing need to deliver that model. We also need to inculcate a firm, but the compassionate culture of individual and collective accountability; and reinforce staff expectations about being managed in line with this agenda.
Achieve financial viability and sustainability:
This enabler is concerned with the development of a sustainable funding base for the University, and with ensuring that the size and shape of the University are both viable and supports its strategic goals.
In summary, the University will focus on transformation in higher education, good governance and accountability, and its social responsibility function in the coming period. It will also emphasise technological development and the establishment of a sustainable funding base.
Charter of Ethical Principles and Values
Preamble: ‘In lumine tuo vide bimus lumen’ – ‘In Thy light we see light’
The University of Fort Hare recognizes that any institution or community is ultimately governed by norms, values and belief systems that reflect its distinctive identity, traditions and orientation. The University believes that knowledge is a positive force only if integrated with values and that it should provide a nurturing context of strong ethical norms and principles. In the absence of such values, knowledge could be a destructive force.
This Charter, therefore, presents the crucial value-framework that defines the ethos of the University of Fort Hare. It guides the University’s Vision, Mission, Corporate Goals and Strategic Objectives. It serves as a reference point for all its academic and administrative policies, programmes and procedures and it binds the entire university community by shared ethical principles and values. The Charter is relevant to our rights and responsibilities, as Fort Harians, about each other, the wider society and the environment. Ultimately, it seeks to inspire all people to live with nobility, dignity and an active conscience.
The University of Fort Hare will always be the crucible where many of the critical ideas of South Africa’s democracy, liberation, reconciliation and forgiveness germinated, developed and strengthened and eventually reverberated throughout the country, the continent of Africa and around the globe. The Charter therefore naturally resonates with the principles and values that underlie the Freedom Charter, the South African Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
The Fort Hare Charter has grown out of an inclusive developmental process that involved the entire university community.
It offers to all its members the ethical principles and values listed below, in order to guide us on our journey of discovery, exploration and realisation of our intellectual and unique human potentialities. Without such ethical guidelines all teaching, learning, research and community service are of little value.
The University of Fort Hare Community is:
- Inspired by the heritage of the University and the contribution it has made to leadership, liberation and service to humanity;
- Accepting that the purposes of education include the realisation of our humanity as well as our responsibility to self, family and community;
- Recognizing that in the pursuit of truth and knowledge, the University, as an institution of higher learning, shall maintain in all that it does an unwavering focus on excellence;
- Affirming that a crucial role of education is to instil in students respect, tolerance and social responsibility in an environment of academic freedom, dialogue, friendship and understanding.
The University of Fort Hare Community hereby accepts this Charter and commits itself to living by and promoting the principles and values listed below:
- To ensure that the universal values of justice, integrity, discipline, love, kindness, non-injury and concern for the well-being of others shall serve as a source of our thought, speech and action.
- To respect and affirm the dignity, equality, freedom and rich cultural diversity of all human beings as the basis for peace and social justice.
- To commit ourselves to the pursuit of truth, intellectual honesty, openness to ideas and excellence through the attainment of the highest professional and ethical standards in teaching, learning, research and community service.
- To endorse and encourage the endeavour for academic success as being critically linked with the striving towards an ever-deepening expression of our humanity.
- To uphold and honour the dignity of the University, to preserve its heritage, spirit and assets and to observe its statute, rules and regulations as well as the laws of the country.
- To encourage an orientation of imaginative, collaborative, problem-solving and entrepreneurial thinking in addressing the challenges that we face.
- As a staff member, to be a responsible, caring mentor in all our dealings with students and with each other.
- To not discriminate, directly or indirectly, on the grounds of birth, race, colour, nationality, ethnic or social origin, gender, age, illness or disability, language, culture, political or another opinion, religion, conscience, belief, marital status, pregnancy or sexual orientation.
- To be ever conscious of the need to develop a responsible relationship with the earth and to understand our critical role to protect and preserve it for future generations.
- To undertake teaching and research that will responsibly harness the benefits of all the sciences for the well-being of humanity, being conscious of the harm inherent in the irresponsible use of knowledge.