CHEC develops and administers support initiatives at the request of the member universities. Current institutional support consists of two sub-focus areas:
Shared facilities and services and Professional development.

Shared facilities and services

Cape Higher Education Library Network (CHELiN)

The Cape Higher Education Library Network (CHELiN) is an initiative of the Cape Higher Education Consortium (CHEC) and consists of the four higher education libraries at the public universities in the Western Cape i.e. the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT), Stellenbosch University (SU), the University of Cape Town (UCT) and the University of the Western Cape (UWC).

CHELiN’s purpose is to provide optimal access to information and quality information services for all participating institutions, enhancing those possible in any single institution, and to develop additional partnerships where they will further contribute to meeting the needs of users.

Natasja Malherbe | |

students in library

Copyright clearance management

Publishing Liaison Office (PLO)

The PLO functions as a one-stop copyright clearance management and related services solution for access to teaching and learning materials on behalf of the four universities in the Western Cape. The PLO is authorised to clear and manage the reproduction of copyright-protected materials for non-commercial, educational purposes under the respective universities’ blanket or transactional licence agreements in deliberation with the Dramatic, Artistic and Literary Rights Organisation (DALRO).

The PLO also clears copyright with various other rights holders when required, while also directing the proper use and clearance of materials under Open Access, public domain, GNU General Public Licences or Creative Commons licence agreements. Lecturers and administrative staff can register and submit copyright permission requests directly on the PLO’s management system.

Copyright Clearance Management System

Other activities of the PLO include:

  • Creating an awareness of the copyright laws of South Africa
  • Facilitating compliance with copyright laws and relevant authorities
  • Negotiating reasonable fees for the use of materials from various copyright holders
  • Participating in institutional forums and training that shape copyright policies and guidelines

Professional development

The Creating the Leading-Edge Programme (CLE)

The Creating the Leading-Edge Programme (CLE) has been developed by and for the universities in the Western Cape and is presented under the auspices of the Cape Higher Education Consortium (CHEC). The programme is designed to meet the management capacity development needs of academic and administrative middle managers and to create effective networks of key managers in the Western Cape. The programme is specifically designed for academic heads of departments, heads of research entities, and support/professional staff managers. Typically, the selected candidate will have at least a post graduate qualification and more than five years work experience as a new or existing manager in their positions. However, universities are free to select any participant that they believe will benefit from the course.

The CLE is endorsed by Universities South Arica for its relevance and responsiveness to developing and supporting the leadership and management knowledge and skills required, for greater efficiency and effectiveness in the systems, processes, people and technology requirements of our universities.

The purpose of the CLE is: “To build and develop human capacity to create a thriving and supportive HE workspace.”

The core courses constitute a comprehensive middle management development programme based on the essential competencies that all leaders and managers need. It is highly recommended that participants register for the full CLE Programme to achieve maximum benefit.

The CLE follows a sequential developmental level phased approach:

Phase 1. Leading the team: Understanding the self in relation to others

Phase 2. The HE strategic space: HE in a new context, University strategic planning, execution and governance, Achieving strategy through operational excellence

Phase 3. The creation of a conducive HE workspace: Digital transformation in HE, Performance engagement and succession planning, Effective communications strategies

Phase 4. Personal development options: A new selection of elective courses (Resilience and wellness in a time of turbulence, Leading in employee relations, Leading through creativity, problem-solving, entrepreneurship

The sequence of the courses offers a sequential developmental level approach in four phases:

The team environment ➤ the HE strategic space ➤ creating a thriving work environment ➤ personal development.

Programme duration:
The programme runs for eight months starting with the first course in April 2023 and completing in November 2023.

Mode of delivery:
The programme is presented virtually.

Important dates:
Applications close on 26 February 2023
Programme orientation is on 24 March 2023

View the full programme calendar

CHEC leadership and management capacity development programmes 2022
Nomination Form 2022

Contact details:
Prof René Pellissier |
Ms Sisipho Zweni |

Creating the Executive-Edge (for senior management)

CHEC is proud to offer a new programme designed for deans and senior or executive directors. The Programme is designed to meet the strategic needs of senior and executive management in HEIs in the Western Cape. The Programme is designed for deans, deputy deans and senior or executive directors appointed to executive positions in HEIs.

The value of the CEE lies in the development of strategic leadership who values transformation, communication and performance engagement. To this, the Programme follows a framework for human-centric leadership in turbulent times. CEE Programme is for you if you are in a leading and executive position where strategic decisions must be made, and you are required to be the change agent taking on different leadership roles and responsibilities that require of you a deep sense of self understanding before being able to manage and lead people that report to you.

The purpose of the CEE is: “To engage in strategic leadership through people management in HE.

The CEE Programme builds from within, following a layered centric approach.

CEE core layers

  • Layer 1. Being the sensemaker: Systems thinking in HE (CEE 1.1)
  • Layer 2. Being the change agent: Personal mastery (CEE1.2)
    Change agency in the new HE context (CEE 1.3)
  • Layer 3. Being the strategic leader: Leadership and strategy in context (CEE 1.4)

CEE elective courses (same as CLE)

  • Leading in employee relations (CEE 2.1)
  • Resilience and wellness in a time of turbulence (CEE 2.2)
  • Leading through creativity, problem-solving, entrepreneurship (CEE 2.3)

Programme duration:
The programme runs for four months starting with the first course in August 2022 and completing in November 2022.

View the CEE calendar.

Mode of delivery:
The programme is presented virtually.

Important dates:
Applications close on 26 April 2022
Programme orientation is in June 2022


Contact details:
Prof René Pellissier |
Ms Lulamela Gwede |

Critical conversations

CHEC has decided to launch a webinar series for the four universities in the Western Cape on critical issues and discourses in SA HEIs. We recognize that the academic landscape has become increasingly complex and that answers need to be found for problems that previously did not exist. In this way, the CHEC webinar series will provide our regional universities with an opportunity to share ideas and contribute to regional higher education innovation by discussing our strategies and lessons learnt through our business continuity, risk, and other applications.

Whilst the 2021 webinars focused mostly on HE in a time of COVID, the 2020 series will deal with critical issues in relation to the complexity of HE in all its aspects. How do we even formulate questions about how we operate within the emerging challenges? How do we respond to the human impact on our staff and students? But we should also ask another set of questions about the purpose of higher education, its role in societal development, and our established higher education models. Has the pandemic accelerated the pace of potentially beneficial change, and what are the broad advancements that we should be aware of and, should take forward?

We therefore invite you to attend our CHEC Critical Conversation series of 2022. You are welcome to provide us with topical issues or suggest speakers for these events.

2022 forthcoming topics:

  • The relevance of HE in a changing world of work
  • Lessons learnt on digital transformation in a COVID environment
  • Defining the university’s knowledge projects within the university’s specific local and global context
  • Is HE converging or diverging on the virtual classroom?
  • Reflections on social innovations in a time if COVID-19
  • Reflections on internationalisation
  • Reflections on higher education models

Dates: 25 March, 29 April, 27 May, 24 June, 26 August, 30 September, 28 October
Time: 14:00-15:00 last Friday of each month
Details: Find out more.

Prof René Pellissier |
Ms Sisipho Zweni |

Postgraduate Diploma in Higher Education in Teaching and Learning

Internationally, increased attention is being paid to the professional development of academic staff for their teaching role.

To address this need, CHEC has been offering a Postgraduate Diploma in Higher Education in Teaching and Learning [(PGDip (HE)(T&L)] since 2014. The programme, which is available to academic staff from the four regional universities, as well as from other South African universities, is implemented through a collaboration agreement between Stellenbosch University (SU), the University of the Western Cape (UWC) and the Cape University of Technology (CPUT).

A Postgraduate Coordinating Committee, consisting of representatives from the three universities, is responsible for the oversight, planning and coordination of the programme. The current Chair of the Committee is Dr Xena Cupido of CPUT (

The programme, which is offered on a part-time basis over two years, has three compulsory modules of 30 credits each, namely:

  • Teaching and learning in higher education,
  • Assessment in higher education, and
  • Research for enhancing teaching and learning.

In addition, students may choose one elective 30-credit modules from the following four modules:

  • ICTs for Teaching and Learning
  • Academic Leadership and Management
  • Strengthening Postgraduate Supervision
  • Recognition of Prior Learning

The most recent cohort of 19 participants enrolled at the start of 2020 and completed the programme at the end of 2021.

The programme will be offered again in 2023, while 2022 is being used for a programme re-curriculation process.

Download the programme

COVID 19 Information

Get the latest newsletter from CHEC

Sign up