OPENING DOORS TO NEW CHALLENGES
CHAIRPERSON ‘S MESSAGE
DIRECTORS’ REPORT 5
FINANCE 7 Identifying and Facing Higher Education Challenges
VUMA! 16 The Team at FOTIM comprises a small group of very dedicated staff
OTHER INITIATIVES 19 who are passionate about serving the Higher Education institutions
CONCLUSION 20 within the greater GAUTENG region. Together with volunteers from every
FOTIM FINANCIAL STATEMENTS 21
VUMA FINANCIAL STATEMENTS 25 member institution we strive to identify and then face, with viable solu-
tions, the current challenges facing both staff and students within our
Although 2009 has been a particularly challenging year not only within
a generally depressed global economic front but also within the rapidly
changing education environment, FOTIM has risen to the challenge in a
truly commendable manner, making the year a very rewarding one for
both employees and members alike.
Several new initiatives have been presented and developed with FOTIM
opening doors to new opportunities and setting standards for service,
support and guidelines throughout Southern Africa and beyond.
Member Institutions in 2009
FOTIM has a membership of nine universities and universities of
technology in the Gauteng, Limpopo and North West provinces:
• North-West University
• Tshwane University of Technology
Membership Map • University of Johannesburg
• University of Limpopo
• University of Pretoria
• University of South Africa
• University of the Witwatersrand
• University of Venda
• Vaal University of Technology
In addition the GAELIC Programme has external members:
• University of Botswana
• University of Lesotho
Executive Committee 2009
Chairperson Prof Monie Naidoo
Deputy Chairperson Prof Yunus Ballim
Treasurer Prof Themba Mosia
Members Prof Antony Melck
Prof Adam Habib
Prof David Mosoma
Prof Xikombiso Mbhenyane
FOTIM Staff 2009
Executive Director Dr Zodwa Magwenzi
Programme Managers Anke McCallum
2 Administrative Assistant Lorraine Young
2009 BOARD MEMBERS
Major Projects & Initiatives
Prof Themba Mosia
FOTIM’s first initiative, GAELIC (Gauteng and Environs Library Consor- Dr Adriaan Swanepoel
tium), has been a major success, and plays a leading role in the library Tshwane University of
and information sector nationally. GAELIC aims to provide timely, cost- Technology
effective knowledge and information delivery to the university commu-
Prof Adam Habib
nity and provides its members with networking and skills and capacity
University of Johannesburg
building opportunities through a wide variety of workshops, training ses-
sions, marketing events and information sessions for all of its member li- Prof Monie Naidoo
brary staff. University of Limpopo
VUMA! Portal Prof Antony Melck
FOTIM’s most recent innovation, the VUMA! Portal, is a one-stop point of University of Pretoria
access and support to students enabling them to make the most of their
student careers and personal lives. The portal adds value to the learner’s Prof David Mosoma
University of South Africa
higher education experience by providing friendly, online access to
academic, life-skills and developmental information, helping new learn- Prof Yunus Ballim
ers to adapt more easily to campus life and to achieve success. University of The
Disability in Higher Education
FOTIM has a keen interest in responding to the needs of students with Prof Xikombiso Mbhenyane
disabilities in South African higher education institutions. The Disability in University of Venda
Higher Education group is a vibrant group experts from our institutions
who are committed to the cause of people with disabilities in our univer- Dr Dan Mokoena
Vaal University of
Focus on First-Year Students
University students, particularly those in their first year of study, struggle to
fit into a new environment and to understand a range of academic
concepts. FOTIM aims to assist institutions in working together to pool
their resources to develop support systems for first year students in writ-
ing, study and other life skills, leading to a holistic development of the
FOTIM’s vision is to proactively create opportunities for the benefit of Prof Naidoo, Dr Magwenzi &
higher education in the region and nationally through collaborative pro- Prof Mosia
jects and initiatives. Its objectives contain the concepts of cooperation
and optimal resource utilization, and the promotion of equity, diversity
and academic excellence. Its major programs are based on needs
identified in member institutions.
FOTIM enables higher education institutions to maximise their synergies by
providing quality, collaborative, resource leveraging projects and related FOTIM Staff
services. FOTIM’s mission is to become an essential partner in the higher
education sector through initiatives that add value and provide tangible
benefits to institutions. This is achieved through addressing areas of need
and providing an indispensable, pro-active service to its members,
thereby strengthening the sector.
FOTIM Annual Report 2009 3
Message from the Chairperson
The past year has been an important one for FOTIM as it was a year
in which the Executive Committee embarked on a process of intro-
spection on the progress, value and relevance of FOTIM in the cur-
rent higher education context. The strategic planning session at the
beginning of the year, informed by the needs analysis conducted at
the end of 2008, resulted in the decision to remain focused on the
few major projects that advanced collaboration among member
institutions and enabled resource sharing and resource saving for
member universities. These projects were GAELIC, VUMA! and Disabil-
ity. As a result, project managers have been able to concentrate on
developing these projects and exploring a few new initiatives.
In reflecting on the value of the various projects led by FOTIM, the
longest and most successful project is undoubtedly the GAELIC pro-
ject. All university libraries in the nine member institutions of FOTIM
participate in the GAELIC project that was started in 1996 and which
has received major funding grants from such donors as the Andrew
W Mellon Foundation, SALI Trust and others. This project endeavours
to ensure that all member libraries are able to function at an equal
level and are on the same version of the Millennium System. I believe
that a significant contributor to the success of this project is its owner-
ship by the university librarians in the region. They have been able to Prof Naidoo
successfully use GAELIC as the vehicle through which to leverage re-
sources for training and development, discussion of issues, and for research. Through working together, the
GAELIC collective ensures that our libraries offer excellent services.
A more recent and highly successful project is the VUMA! Portal developed in 2007 through funding re-
ceived from the Andrew W Mellon Foundation and the Ford Foundation. The aim in designing the VUMA!
Portal is to provide students from member universities with online access to a wide range of academic and
life skills, information and a social space to communicate with fellow students. Through the establishment
and development of the Portal, FOTIM offers collaboratively what institutions cannot cost effectively,
achieve individually. It is anticipated that the VUMA! Portal will play an important role in improving learner
success rates. It is encouraging to note that current users include individuals from universities in South Africa
that lie outside the FOTIM region as well as international users. The development potential and value
proposition of this portal are immense.
A strategic decision made by the FOTIM Board at the beginning of 2009 was to promote collaboration on
Disability as this was identified by member institutions as an area of need. Donor funding has been re-
ceived from the Ford Foundation and a successful national conference was held in 2009. Staff who provide
services to students with disabilities value the opportunities created by FOTIM to share experiences and to
network with professionals who face similar challenges.
There are many challenges in higher education and FOTIM provides a platform for discussion of critical
themes. In 2009 discussions were held on students’ accommodation and orientation programme planning.
The quest for continued relevance and value has prompted the Executive Committee to commission an
external review of the current business model for 2010. Whilst clearly operating as a regional consortium to
add value to the member institutions, the VUMA! Portal has crossed the regional divide and both the
GAELIC and Disability projects have strong links with other national initiatives.
It is with heartfelt gratitude of having been part of such a dynamic organisation that I step down as Chair-
person of FOTIM. It has been an immense privilege to work with such a committed Board, a decisive Execu-
tive Team, and a group of dedicated Project Managers. The support that I received from Professor Yunus
Ballim, the Deputy Chairperson and Professor Themba Mosia, the Treasurer was invaluable and is greatly
Professor Monie Naidoo
Executive Director’s Report
2009 was a year of maximizing opportunities for the growth and ex-
pansion of FOTIM programmes. At the beginning of the year, there
was a focus on strategic planning and working on FOTIM’s impact
and effectiveness in serving its member institutions. New areas of ser-
vice delivery to member institutions were identified.
FOTIM Strategic Framework 2009—2011
FOTIM engaged in a comprehensive strategic planning exercise on
the 6th February 2009. The aim of this crucial exercise was to revisit the
vision of the organisation and make recommendations that would
position FOTIM for success in 2009-2011. FOTIM Board members and
staff were positively engaged to work out FOTIM’s future role and
function in providing a service to higher education.
The main recommendations made indicated that FOTIM’s activities in
the future will be directly related to the challenges facing higher edu-
cation institutions, and will be relevant to the needs in the environ-
ment at the time. FOTIM will use existing projects to maximize and
strengthen new projects. Key focus areas for FOTIM include learner
support and student development; service delivery; capacity building/ Dr Magwenzi
training and scholarships and internships.
Our first goal is to focus on areas of critical need in our present higher education context. Secondly, a de-
termination to maximize and grow our current flagship programmes, and optimize our responsiveness to in-
stitutional needs in these areas was expressed. Thirdly, we were focused on enhancing the quality and im-
pact of our engagement and relationship with member institutions and also improving on our profile and
visibility in the higher education landscape.
In light of the new strategy, the Water Purification and Gender projects were discontinued.
This is FOTIM’s first and largest initiative. It plays a leading role in the library and information sector nationally.
The initial focus was on facilitating the development and improvement of digital library services in the re-
gion. This was done through expanding the functionality of the INNOPAC system, by upgrading all libraries
to the Millennium version, by purchasing additional modules and investigating the advantages of a central-
ized server. The later focus on bridging the digital divide between member libraries was achieved by formu-
lating benchmarks for digital library service and developing the skills of staff. More recently the ongoing fo-
cus has been on identifying and prioritizing training needs and conducting workshops to develop library
staff and to consider joint digital ventures through the sharing of knowledge, experiences and expertise.
The VUMA! Portal
The vision for the development of the VUMA! Portal is to serve the collaborative needs of South African terti-
ary institutions, enabling them to enhance the learning experiences of students while creating a platform
for academic collaboration and support. The Portal adds value to a student’s university experience by pro-
viding easily accessible academic, life skills, and study material, and informative material through a wide
variety of diverse themes. Through VUMA!, students have an opportunity to collaborate with their peers
from other universities, share views, submit their own content and resources, and become active contribu-
tors in knowledge building and community development. The portal is also set to become the premier loca-
tion for online collaboration among university staff in their professional pursuits.
In 2009, the VUMA! Programme was successful in the following areas:
FOTIM Annual Report 2009 5
THE FOTIM FAMILY • Growing the VUMA! Communities at FOTIM member Institutions.
Good progress was made in marketing the portal to staff and stu-
dents from the June 2009 Strategic planning workshop. At the end
of 2009 user registrations reached close to 8,000 users.
• University Collaboration and Support. For the first time institutions
requested discussions on the development of various facilities.
VUMA! is now directly responding to individual member needs.
These facilities include the University Job Board-for the posting of
internal jobs for students and the Career Portfolio System.
• Content Development. A growing number of articles, self-test mod-
ules, links, and resources have been made available in this area
and it will be a focus area for 2010.
• Fundraising preparation and groundwork. A number of proposals
were developed and finalised for the funding of VUMA!, mainly
around First Year Support. These include the First Year Guide Pro-
Dr Zodwa Magwenzi posal, the CV Portfolio Concept Paper and the Online Writing
Executive Director Centre Proposal.
firstname.lastname@example.org • The VUMA! Management Team was established to oversee the
implementation of programme goals and to assist in building a
sense of ownership of the portal in member institutions.
Due to the focus on FOTIM institutions special areas and needs, there is
now a growing commitment from staff reflected by a list of specific pro-
jects for each institution.
Institutions have gained substantial value from this project in both tangi-
ble and intangible ways. Substantial donor funding has been received
between 2005 -2009. In addition, institutions have benefited from shared
resources and students have had access to useful information that im-
pacts on their studies and life at their universities.
Staff and students have had interactive and educative collaboration
and networking opportunities through this programme. The workshop
and training sessions have provided staff with the latest innovation in the
Anke McCallum area of IT and shared resources. There is substantial value in online stu-
Programme Manager dent support services provided by the VUMA! Portal.
Disability in Higher Education
The FOTIM Disability Group provided a strong support service to institu-
tions in an area that has been widely neglected. Institutions were as-
sisted in the past to formulate policy in the area of disability at a time
when this concept was new and problematic to some. Institutions,
through the FOTIM Programme, received innovative ways to translate
policy into practice by developing cost-effective ways of utilizing scarce
resources. New trends in the regional and international arena were pro-
vided to members at no cost. The Disability in Higher Education Interest
group hosted a highly successful conference on the 19th -20th March
2009. It provided an avenue for knowledge generation and sharing in
an outstanding way.
In September 2009, the group was awarded a grant of $60 000,00 by the
Ford Foundation to undertake a study on the provision of services to stu-
Lawson Ricketts dents with disabilities in higher education in South Africa. The study will
Programme Manager be valuable in providing guidelines on the standards and the quality of
services given to students with disabilities in our universities.
I would like to take this opportunity to express our heartfelt gratitude to
all who have supported our programmes and worked with us over the
FOTIM Executive Director.
THE FOTIM FAMILY
A marketing brainstorming session was held with the FOTIM staff on 6
March 2009. The session was facilitated by Dr Anthon Botha of Techno-
Scene, the recommendations of which formed the basis of the 2009
marketing plan. This meeting was followed by a meeting of the Pro-
gramme Managers where individual requirements relating to the mar-
keting plan were scrutinized. An information pack consisting of various
flyers on FOTIM activities were designed “in-house” and printed on de-
mand. This process allows for fast, current information to be made avail-
able at a reasonable cost.
All marketing initiatives of FOTIM are undertaken with the aim of promot-
ing awareness of the FOTIM brand in a cost effective manner. The pro- Tanya Healey
jects are the main vehicle through which FOTIM is branded. In 2009, the Programme Manager
following advertising mechanisms were used: email@example.com
• Websites (FOTIM, VUMA! and GAELIC)
• Newsletters (FOTIM, GAELIC and VUMA!)
• Printed Annual Report
• VUMA! Posters
• VUMA! Caps and T‐shirts
• VUMA! Bookmarks
• Banners (VUMA! and FOTIM)
• FOTIM Strategic Plan 2009 – 2011 (printed booklet)
• VUMA! Flyers
• Corporate Gifts (e.g. GAELIC memory stick)
• Branded folders
• Information leaflets on each project, plus an overview of FOTIM
• VUMA! Pens
• Branded nametags, compliment slips and business cards
• Organization of and Participation in the GAELIC and Friends Mar-
Marketing of FOTIM and its initiatives also takes place through: Programme Manager
• Conferences and workshops firstname.lastname@example.org
• Face‐to‐face meetings
• e‐mail communication
• Site visits to campuses
• Ad hoc interviews and articles (radio, newspaper, magazine)
• VUMA! presence during orientation programmes
• VUMA! marketing (Student Village, staff and student campus
• VUMA! Facebook group
Extracts from the Reports of the Independent Auditors (2009) are in-
cluded as an appendix to this report. Lorraine Young
FOTIM Annual Report 2009 7
Disability in Higher Education
Chairperson: Dr Anlia Pretorius
Programme Manager: Tanya Healey
South Africa has a progressive constitution that protects the rights of
persons with disabilities. As a country, we have adopted the United Na-
tions Disability Convention. In 1997, the White Paper on the Integrated
National Disability Strategy was signed. These events have placed the
issue of disability firmly in the centre of concerns around what it takes to
make a society that is accessible and provides equal opportunities for
all. With a long history of supporting institutions in disability issues, FOTIM
is well situated to respond to these concerns.
Disability has been earmarked in the FOTIM strategic plan as an issue
that requires serious attention. It is also an area of national concern. The
Dr Pretorius disability units throughout South Africa have the vision of equal access
for all students in South Africa and serve many thousands of students
with different disabilities, including visual, hearing, physical, learning,
psychological and neurological impairments as well as chronic illnesses.
The group was chaired in 2009 by Dr Anlia Pretorius, head of the Disabil-
ity Unit at University of Johannesburg. In August 2009, Dr Pretorius left the
University of Johannesburg to manage the Wits Disability Unit.
The following activities took place in 2009:
A two-day conference entitled “The road we have travelled in Disability
Services in Higher Education” was held on 19 and 20 March 2009, at the
Industrial Theatre Production
at the Disability Conference University of Johannesburg’s School of Hospitality and Tourism.
Delegates from throughout Southern Africa attended the conference,
and included staff from Disability Units, Departments of Social Work, Oc-
cupational Health and Safety, Library Staff, Lecturers and students. The
event provided valuable opportunities for sharing ideas, best practices,
and challenges facing practitioners working with disability issues in
Sponsorship was received from three companies, MicrolinkPC, Evac
Chair and Sensory Solutions. These companies were provided with the
opportunity to exhibit their products at the conference. A Disability Eq-
uity and Disclosure Industrial Theatre Production took place during
lunch on the first day of the conference. The lively production enter-
tained the delegates and provided a lighthearted look at the chal-
lenges that face persons with disabilities.
A variety of papers were approved by the selection committee and the
programme provided for debate on a wide number of issues, from sport
to libraries. Two keynote speakers, Dr William Rowland and Elash Mistry
provided the opening addresses. The conference proceedings are
available on the FOTIM website. Where possible, the abstract, paper,
presentation and recording of each speaker is available on the web-
Dr William Rowland, keynote
speaker at the Disability
the use of Evac-Chair Evaluation of the conference showed that it was well received and ap-
preciated. The results of the evaluation are represented graphically be-
QUOTES FROM THE
”An amazing, enlightening
and very informative confer-
“This conference has opened
up new horizons, and oppor-
tunities to be seized.”
“ Thank you so much for a
wonderful, exciting confer-
ence.; the amazing people
who participated and the
relevance of the topics. W
have learned a lot.”
Conference Evaluation “Enjoyed the conference
and variety of interesting pa-
pers. Thanks. However, I think
that university libraries and
top management of institu-
Planning 2009—2011 tions should have also pre-
sented their views, to indicate
A detailed strategic plan was drawn up for 2009 – 2011. whether or not they support
services to disabled or not,
they need to hear these pres-
Interaction with Individual Disability Units “Very informative and well
run. Increasing the involve-
Assistance was provided to FOTIM member institutions on an ad-hoc ment of students would possi-
bly open up an avenue for
basis throughout the year. The networking and learning opportunities
afforded to members is appreciated by all units, but for those units who
are still setting up, the opportunity to learn from experienced staff mem- “There is an increase in learn-
bers is particularly valued. Ad-hoc meetings with the Chairperson as ing disabled students register-
well as between individual staff members took place throughout the ing with the Disability Units.
year. Regular site visits were conducted by the Programme Manager to More information on support
FOTIM members. strategies for these students is
It was very interesting and
HEDSA / HESA / FOTIM Collaboration enlightening to walk the jour-
ney. It is imperative that we
as disability units should be
A meeting with representatives from HESA (Higher Education South Af- involved in our communities.”
rica); HEDSA (Higher Education Disability Services Association) and
FOTIM was held to discuss collaboration between the three bodies. This
resulted in a number of discussions between HEDSA and FOTIM repre-
sentatives to discuss amalgamation between the two bodies. A new
FOTIM/HEDSA constitution was drafted and submitted to the FOTIM
Board for approval. The regional/national issue was again debated
and questioned, and led to a re-evaluation the merit of the amalgama-
tion. The process had slowed down the activities of both groups and it
was decided that a formal amalgamation would not take place. A
Memorandum of Understanding will be drawn up between HEDSA and
FOTIM once HEDSA is a formally constituted and independent body.
FOTIM will revive its activities and leadership structure in 2010. National
collaboration on activities can continue in order to avoid duplication,
but some issues will best be dealt with regionally through the FOTIM HEDSA Logo
FOTIM Annual Report 2009 9
Ford Foundation Grant
In Sept 2009, the Ford Foundation awarded FOTIM a grant of $60 000 to
conduct an in-depth investigation into the needs of students with dis-
abilities throughout South Africa. The investigation will check the actual
provision of services to students with disabilities in areas such as accessi-
bility, awareness and responsiveness, programme provision and teach-
ing and learning arrangements. These services will be benchmarked
against both national and international universities.
A national survey of the
needs of Disability Units was
conducted in 2009 Survey of Needs
FOTIM identified the necessity of gathering information about disability
services and distributed a survey to assess the needs of FOTIM member
institutions. At the same time, discussions regarding a potential amalga-
mation with HEDSA were gaining momentum, and it was decided to
distribute the survey to all South African institutions, with the aim of gath-
ering as much information as possible regarding the provision of ser-
vices to students with disabilities.
The survey served as a scoping exercise to provide direction for future
Disability Units provide assis- activities. The results indicated that a complete audit of services is re-
tive technology to students quired. It is proposed that a thorough investigation should be done us-
with disabilities ing the funds obtained from the Ford Foundation. The information gath-
ered during the audit would benefit institutions by providing bench-
marking data and providing a useful tool in negotiations and lobbying.
Another recommendation of the survey indicated that a new proposal
be drafted to address skills training and awareness programmes for all
“Often, we are too slow to rec- staff regarding students with disabilities.
ognize how much and in what
ways we can assist each other
through sharing such expertise
and knowledge.” Lobbying
Information regarding disability in higher education was communicated
to various stakeholders throughout the year, including:
• Minister of Basic Education regarding her statement in the news:
Tertiary institutions must help disabled students (2 August 2009).
• The Council on Higher Education informing them of the current
research initiatives in the area of disability.
• The Department of Inclusive Education regarding FOTIM / HEDSA
• HESA, informing them of progress of the HEDSA / FOTIM amalga-
• Rolling Inspirations Magazine, for an article on Disability in Higher
education, Nov/Dec 2009 edition.
A proposal was drafted in conjunction with GAELIC to compile guide-
lines and best practice regarding the provision of services of libraries to
students with disabilities. The project will be implemented in 2010.
A concept paper was drafted for a project to create a web-based
platform for sharing information about assistive technology and soft-
Planning for a library and ware, and will be addressed in 2010.
disability project has started
GAUTENG AND ENVIRONS LIBRARY CONSORTIUM
Chairperson: Robert Moropa
Programme Manager: Carole Willis
Established in 1996 to foster regional academic library partnerships,
GAELIC continues to achieve success by creating opportunities for
members to participate in collaborative initiatives, share joint projects
and provide contact with colleagues who are willing to share experi-
ences and expertise. As a successful FOTIM initiative, GAELIC member
libraries value the input and effort of the programme and, with the im- Governing Board Meeting in
plementation of the new strategic plan during 2009, there were many Botswana
more opportunities for members to once again benefit from this valu-
Strategic & Business Planning
Throughout 2009 the updated and amended strategic structure was
implemented to varying degrees of success over the three new objec-
tive areas. Individuals from member library staff were nominated by
their library heads to the newly formed Objective Teams. Several work-
shops were held to discuss challenges and to decide on the specific
focus for 2009, resulting in the drawing up of action plans to guide the
Teams for the year. Training was provided in the form of workshops
where staff were able to share, learn and interact both within the con-
sortial institutions and with people from outside organizations.
GAELIC experienced several changes within the Governing Board struc-
ture during the year which caused delays in the progress of the overall
implementation plan. The Chair Elect, Mrs Rachel More, accepted a
post outside of the GAELIC member sphere thereby creating a succes-
sion gap for the chairperson. Fortunately Ms Mushoni Mulaudzi of the
University of Venda stepped in as the incoming GAELIC Chair for 2010-
2011 and she will succeed Mr Robert Moropa at the AGM early in 2010.
A decision was made to limit the term of office of any official of the
Board to two years only, with the option of 1 renewal. This necessitated
the nomination of incoming individuals for the posts of both Sponsor
and Convenor of all three objective areas. This process will be imple-
mented early in 2010.
Summer Camp participants
Early in 2009 the Operational Manager of Objective 2 resigned creating
a delay in real time progress of this sector until the middle of the year
when Janet Zambri of Wits University filled the post. A challenging six
months ensued with an attempt to gain lost ground and to implement
the total 2010 plan in the second half of the year.
The Convenor of the Objective 3 group also resigned from the post
early in the year and by the end of the year this position had not yet
been filled. The Governing Board had serious discussion over the viabil-
ity of maintaining this objective and for a large part of the year, nothing
was achieved in this area. At the final Governing Board meeting of the
year the Board agreed to consider the investigation into an African
Digital Library Initiative as the focus for this objective. Convenor and
Operational Mangers still need to be appointed.
In support of its strategic approach several new project proposals were
presented to the FOTIM Board for consideration, these include: Visit to the University of
FOTIM Annual Report 2009 11
QUOTES OF NOTE • the investigation into current services provided to users with dis-
abilities and the creation of a policy document to drive best
“I have always imagined that practice
Paradise will be a kind of library.” • the investigation of skills requirements for the 21st century aca-
Jorge Luis Borges
“Knowledge and timber shouldn't
• an investigation into the creation of a generic document to guide
be much used till they are sea- succession planning with the libraries.
Oliver Wendell Holmes All these projects will require funding if they are to be implemented and
the programme will rely on the help of FOTIM to seek and secure this
“The man who doesn't read funding.
good books has no advantage
over the man who can't read Organisational structure
Objective areas 1 and 2 had successfully functional structures in place
with Convenors appointed and Team members allocated. Meetings
“A library is an arsenal of liberty.” and workshops were held during the year for both of these sections.
Unknown Objective 3 area had Team members elected but there was no activity
owing to the absence of both Sponsor and Convenor. The GAELIC Gov-
“I must say that I find television erning Board made a decision to ensure that formal succession exists
very educational. The minute within the overall GAELIC structure and existing Convenors and Opera-
somebody turns it on, I go to the tional Managers will be expected to formally appoint a successor by
library and read a book.” the 2010 AGM.
“If truth is beauty, how come no
Strategic Direction Implementation
one has their hair done in a li- Objective 1: To promote optimal use of the Millennium system in the
brary?” GAELIC libraries Investigate and implement a joint integrated Millen-
Lily Tomlin nium system
This Objective team had a successful year under the guidance and
“The library is the temple of learn- leadership of Judy Henning as the Convenor and Lettie Erasmus as the
ing, and learning has liberated Operational Manager. .A clear and concise strategic work plan con-
more people than all the wars in trolled operations and several extremely useful documents which will
assist members to establish good practice policy guides within their own
institutions resulted from the hard work of this Team. The workshops pro-
"Never mistake knowledge for vided opportunities to share good experiences and concerns.
wisdom. One helps you make a
living; the other helps you make a Objective 2 : Build capacity through identification and provision of
life." training needs and services for the optimal utilization of resources
Sandra Carey After the resignation of the Operational manager early in the year the
functioning of the group was stalled yet sterling effort was made by the
“A room without books is like a Convenor, Vivian Agyei and the GAELIC Programme Manager to en-
body without a soul.”
sure continuity of effort. After the appointment of a new Operational
Marcus Tullius Cicero
Manager, Janet Zambri, the team became fully functional. A welcome
"Real knowledge is to know the GAELIC and friends Marketing Fair was reintroduced and the year
extent of one's ignorance." ended on a high note with a successful training camp.
Objective 3 : Improve cost efficiency through joint procurement and
“If you have a garden and a li- resources sharing
brary, you have everything you After the loss of its Convenor early in the year the functionality of this
need.” group ground to a halt and no there was no further progress here. The
decision at the GAELIC Governing Board meeting in October 2009 to
“Knowledge is free at the library.
change the focus of this objective to the investigation into establishing
Just bring your own container.” an African Digital Library initiative reinstated this objective area as a
Unknown functional entity.
“A university is just a group of
buildings gathered around a li- GAELIC Constitution & Membership
Several amendments were made to the Constitution to ensure currency
and all references to institutional mergers were removed. Obsolete
wording within the Constitution related to the staffing structure and title
changes within both GAELIC and FOTIM were amended accordingly.
In addition, the criteria section based on individual requirements for QUOTES FROM THE
membership was placed as an addendum so that any future changes
and/or updating could be necessitated more timeously and with less SUMMER CAMP DELEGATES
”Thank you and welcome
Benefits of GAELIC Membership back GAELIC.”
Over the year several suggestions have been made to the amend-
ments of the Benefits to GAELIC Membership document. However, the “It was an eye opener
Board agreed that as GAELIC had not yet completely settled down into presentation on the
relationship with Research
its proposed new strategic structure, any realistic evaluation of this new
strategic approach would not be useful until the process was fully in
place. In light of this decision, the updating of the Benefits document “More workshops please.”
would be postponed until 2010. The GAELIC Office received letters of
appreciation and thanks from various members, particularly from the “The workshop motivated me
external members, indicating that they appreciated their membership to do things differently.”
“This was a good way to end
Membership in 2009 the year.”
GAELIC membership was reduced by one member this year with the
QUOTES FROM THE
expiration of the membership of the University of Namibia owing to the
cessation of their external sponsorship. Current membership stands at a
MARKETING FAIR DELEGATES
total of 11 institutions, with 9 local and 2 regional members. The Univer-
sity of Swaziland has made a tentative expression of interest in joining
the consortium. “It was very useful to meet
North West University “An excellent introduction to
the importance of marketing
Tshwane University of Technology
University of Johannesburg
University of Limpopo “Good speakers.”
University of Pretoria
University of South Africa “A very informative event.”
University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg
University of Venda “I will take back the
Vaal University of Technology experiences to our library and
“Our library is way behind.”
National University of Lesotho
University of Botswana “I learned a lot.”
Attendance figures at the GGB meetings increased with additional rep- “Enjoyable.”
resentation from the different campuses of the North West University.
“Supplier/vendor really useful,
future interaction with them
GAELIC’S 2009 Highlights needed and welcomed.”
The major focus of this year was to appoint the Teams and to get the
objective groups fully functional. Several meetings were held to discuss
strategic planning for each group and workshops held to allow mem-
bers to interact and share experiences and challenges.
Mellon Project Final Report
The final Mellon System Investigation Project report was submitted in
February with acknowledgement of its overall success. The GAELIC
Office motivated to use the remaining funds to pay a consultant to
assist the University of Venda in updating their version of their library
system. The GAELIC Office contracted Mrs Crystal Smith to assist staff at UNISA celebrated its 2 mil-
lionth book by purchasing
the University of Venda to do system clean up and to provide staff train-
the 2 volume “Highgrove
ing in the various modules in order to ensure that the system and the
Florilegium”, a limited edi-
staff capacity could be on a par with the rest of the GAELIC member tion publication of wonder-
libraries. ful botanical drawings.
FOTIM Annual Report 2009 13
MARKETING FAIR EVALUATION At the end of the year the remaining amount of some R28 000 in the
project account was returned to the donor as a gesture of goodwill.
The Objective 1 Team produced two very valuable framework docu-
ments that were approved by the GAELIC Governing Board to be used
as guidelines for future planning. These deal with the necessity to estab-
lish institutional policy dealing with the Library System support structures
and Process Ownership.
Millennium Show and Tell workshop
A Show and Tell workshop was held to enable various institutions to
highlight and share their experiences in working with and applying the
system processes. The event was well attended by approximately 50
delegates and presentations were given by member staff.
The GAELIC and Friends Marketing Fair was held once again and was
well supported by both the member institutions and GAELIC Friends. The
overall focus was on marketing of services within a virtual environment
to virtual customers. Post event evaluation forms highlighted the popu-
larity of this event as well as requests for it to become a regular occur-
Summer Training Camp
The Summer Training Camp was held in November at the Wits University
Library in the format of four parallel sessions each focusing on a differ-
ent subject namely, general issues, digital challenges, research issues
and support staff concerns. Late requests to do presentations resulted in
a very full programme. The event was well attended by approximately
100 delegates and received much praise in the evaluation forms.
Other highlights include the cleaning up and amendment of the Consti-
tution and the reintroduction of the regular online newsletters to keep
members informed about events and issues both within the member
Advocacy, GAELIC Representation & Marketing
GAELIC continued to be represented at various library association func-
tions and to interact with colleagues both within the membership arena
and outside of it.
Events attended include:
• Representation of FOTIM/GAELIC at the SANLiC meetings by the
GAELIC Chair person
• Discussions with LIASA on potential funding opportunities for train-
Vivian Agyei & Janet Zambri ing
at the Marketing Fair • Attendance at the IFLA Africa Section meeting
• Networking with vendors and suppliers at the 2009 GAELIC and
Friends Marketing Fair
SUMMER CAMP EVALUATION
• Securing sponsor prizes and handouts from the vendors for the
• Participating in the UNISA 1 millionth book celebration
• Attendance at the LIASA CICD Winter Seminar on the Importance
of Academic Libraries
• Visiting staff at the Tshwane University of Technology and the Uni-
versity of Venda
• Using the National Library of South Africa auditorium for events
and networking with staff at this institution
• Organising meetings and events across the entire GAELIC region
• Maintaining an IUG: SA presence through the Objective 1 Operational Manager and the awarding
of the GAELIC floating trophy.
• Presenting at the Summer Training Camp on the VUMA! portal
• South African National Library and iNformation Consortium (SANLiC) through input and support
meetings. Providing regular updates and report backs to Board members at GAELIC meetings.
Suggesting ways to assist national bodies with the running of their office and meetings. Keeping
aware of national projects to minimize duplication.
• FOTIM Disability and VUMA! Projects
Making contributions to the FOTIM projects on Disability and the VUMA! Portal by attendance at
meetings and workshops. Suggesting ways of collaborating on behalf of the libraries. Actively pro-
moting the VUMA! Portal to library staff in the GAELIC member libraries.
• FOTIM Board and Exco
Several presentations were made to the FOTIM Exco and Board during the year highlighting the is-
sues, concerns and successful progress of the GAELIC programme.
Marketing and Communications
The GAELIC website was updated to reflect the new strategic approach and membership lists. New
documentation was added as requested by the Teams. Presentations given by various individuals at the
different workshop were mounted under the relevant sections.
Members were kept up to date with developments within GAELIC and FOTIM and the academic library
world in general via five newsletters that were produced and distributed electronically during the year.
As part of the FOTIM marketing process, new brochures were designed and printed for GAELIC. GAELIC
branded balloons and vuvuzelas were distributed at the Marketing Fair, to members of the Governing
Board and as spot prizes at the Summer Training Camp.
Certificates of support were awarded to institutions for their participation in the GAELIC and Friends Mar-
Additional marketing was provided by the production of GAELIC branded flashsticks which were used as
presenter prizes at both the Marketing Fair and the Summer Training Camp and handed out as end of
the year thank-you gifts to members of the Governing Board.
GAELIC Governing Board (GGB) & the Steering Committee (Executive Committee)
The GAELIC Office received ongoing support from the GAELIC Chairperson and the members of the
GAELIC Governing Board, not only at the meetings but at the various workshops and events held during
the year and for new ideas and proposals.
The name of the “Steering Committee” was changed to the “Executive Committee” and this group met
three times during the year. There were also three Board meetings including the AGM in May. The venue
for meetings was generally alternated between the Johannesburg and Pretoria regions where possible.
Overall GAELIC had a successful year, with the implementation of its new strategic plan and the level of
participation amongst the member staff. Workshops were well attended and very positive feedback re-
ceived. Attendance at Board meetings was high and discussion lively. Board support was given for many
of the proposed initiatives and praise was easily and readily given as was encouragement to continue
into 2010 with the process started in 2009.
As always the contributions of members of the various teams and the support of the GAELIC Governing
Board are sincerely appreciated. Special thanks are due to Professor Peter van Eldik and the staff of the
FOTIM Office for their guidance and support during the year.
FOTIM Annual Report 2009 15
Programme Managers: Anke McCallum & Lawson Ricketts
The development of the VUMA! Portal started in 2007 in line with FOTIM’s
vision to create opportunities for the benefit of higher education
through collaborative projects and initiatives.
The mission of the VUMA! Portal is to add value to a student’s higher
education experience by providing friendly, online access to aca-
demic, life skills, developmental and informative material via a web in-
terface. Through the establishment and development of the Portal,
Students receive VUMA! FOTIM offers collaboratively what institutions cannot cost-effectively
marketing material at Vaal achieve individually, and hopes to play an important role in contribut-
University of Technology ing to learner success rates.
Benefits to Member Institutions
Since 2005 FOTIM has received substantial funding from both the An-
drew W. Mellon Foundation and the Ford Foundation towards the
VUMA! Portal project. This grant funding has allowed FOTIM to pool fi-
nancial resources for both the technical development of the portal and
the purchase and development of content relevant to South African
university students. The advancement of the VUMA! Portal allows mem-
ber institutions to benefit from shared resources, and students therefore
A VUMA! Orientation session have access to a wider range of student services and a network of in-
at University of Limpopo formation. Students are provided with cutting edge technology through
the VUMA! Portal project, including Web 2.0 technologies. It is hoped
that the portal will play an important role in student throughput and re-
tention at FOTIM member institutions.
A number of student support services have been provided through a
listing of online articles, links, and resources which students are able to
access anonymously. The VUMA! Portal continues to serve as a data-
base of information with researched and resourced content areas to
support students. It is a first-stop to solving challenges that students may
face throughout their time at university and enables students the oppor-
Presentation to mentors at
the University of Limpopo tunity to discuss, collaborate, and support one another. Registered us-
ers are able to connect, share, and learn from other students on a vari-
ety of topics.
Facilities within the Portal allow further communication to occur be-
tween a student seeking support and a university administrator or advi-
sor. Online peer mentoring and support programmes have been estab-
lished using the group facility. The career counselling section has been
extended to contain a database of information to guide students
through their job search, and the Contacts Directory includes a listing of
important contacts and references for students – both external and in-
Mentor training in Limpopo
These content areas have been designed to support students and are
used as an initial guide for students, thereby freeing up valuable time of
university staff members by providing answers to general student inquir-
ies and challenges.
University Collaboration & Support
During 2009, the VUMA! Team began discussing the development of
various facilities, in collaboration with member institutions. These in-
clude, amongst others, the following: University Job Board System – for
the posting of internal jobs for students; a Career Portfolio System - con-
cept development pending finalisation in 2010; UNI Resources University
of Johannesburg Online Tutorials- tutorials and resources provided by VUMA! PHOTO SNAPS
FOTIM member institutions for students to work through and complete
an online questionnaire. TUT Mentor/Mentee Tracking System- a
“Mentor/Mentee” space on the VUMA! Portal to track what mentors/
mentees are doing.
Activities & Initiatives
A number of initiatives on the VUMA! Portal have been created to pro-
vide supplemental benefits to member institutions and their students. In
an effort to support first-year students, content has been created and
purchased to increase first-year student success. Student peer support
networks have been created through forums and group discussions. Mentor Training at Tshwane
Interactive modules were designed to teach ‘soft skills’, including time University of Technology
management, writing skills, and HIV/Aids, in an online format were de-
veloped and included in the Library facility on the Portal.
Challenges Experienced & Lessons Learned
Technical / Design Challenges
The VUMA! Portal is built on an open source content management sys-
tem which poses challenges in itself. Constant advocacy, quality con-
trol, testing, and refining is required to get the Portal to a point where it
is hopefully satisfying everyone’s needs, even though these are chang- VUMA! supporters at social
ing and shifting all the time. In addition, new technical developments function SAACDHE Confer-
and cross browser compatibility have proved challenging for the devel- ence Botswana
IT Literacy Challenges
The VUMA! team have been interacting with many different students
from very different backgrounds. This is a challenge, but is also hearten-
ing as students are hungry for support and information and are quick to
learn. Through training experiences with current students the team es-
tablished a need to design and build an IT/Technology space on the
Portal, including basic support and learning materials to assist students
who require the additional help.
VUMA! Team visits North-
West University Career Fair
During 2009, the VUMA! Team had various opportunities to interface
with university staff through group and one-to-one interactions. Progress
in project advocacy and implementation was accelerated during visits
to institutions and short-term momentum was created immediately after
those visits. ICT infrastructure still remains a barrier at some institutions,
and some student are required to pay for internet access on campuses.
Indicators of Success
Mentor training at the
Measuring success is always difficult. The VUMA! Portal user statistics
University of Limpopo
have improved immensely over the twelve month period and through
these statistics FOTIM can begin to establish and measure quantitative
success. Some of the key successes in relation to indicators are summa-
Major progress was made in resource and content development, and
this will be ongoing into 2010. A streamlined interface has resulted in the
grouping of all the content and resources in one space on the portal.
This has proven to be a very successful restructuring process, as students
have found it a lot easier to access and search the content areas. Students at the University of
Venda receive assistance
registering on VUMA!
FOTIM Annual Report 2009 17
WHAT STUDENTS THINK Growing VUMA! Communities at member institutions
Slow, but good progress was made in working with member institutions
ABOUT VUMA! since the Strategic Planning Workshop in June 2009. Staff from member
institutions had the opportunity to share ideas and expressed interest in
“It is indeed useful, its like another
growing the project while using the VUMA! Portal in their teaching and
new way to connect with people
learning practices, specifically in the areas of careers and counseling
and your studies. There are com-
petitions and you could meet and academic development.
new people...Great idea, big
up!!!” The VUMA! Team actively visited universities to introduce students to
VUMA! and provided training on how to use the various collaborative
“I really think that Vuma is very tools. This face-to-face input from FOTIM was evident during 2009, as
useful in that its a form of com- students began actively using the forums and blogs. The peer network
munication as it makes it quite has grown and evidence of this can be seen in the “social statistics”
easy and accessible to an indi-
generated by the Portal.
vidual to communicate and
reach others with and bearing
informative topics and also of User registrations have been tracked since the official launch of the Por-
importance, to help one another tal in 2007. The table below provides an indication of how the Portal
in their studies by sharing ideas.” grew in 2009.
“Wow, why haven't anyone ever Month New Registrations
mentioned it to me? I find VUMA! Jan 09 406
Portal as a great website and I Feb 09 862
even made friends after logging
Mar 09 752
in the first time.”
Apr 09 436
“The amazing thing is that it even May 09 339
gives u free lessons on how to be Jun 09 120
computer literate, Vuma rocks.” Jul 09 285
Aug 09 535
“It is useful to my studying, i can
buy text books on-line and also Sep 09 391
be able to find job recruiters and Oct 09 315
learning how to do my CV by just Nov 09 142
logging in.” Dec 09 60
“wow!! this is the greatest experi-
ence ever and since i've gone VUMA! Fundraising Activities
through the details of the web-
sites i know that this is the best
web for students as it combines
Various Fundraising Proposals for submission to potential donor were
the chatting and most important drafted during 2009. The first of these is a First-Year Guide Proposal – this
a whole bunch of info one re- proposal has been submitted to the FOTIM Director. The second is an
quires to sustain campus life.” Online CV Portfolio Concept Paper – this document has been submitted
to UNISA for finalisation and for consideration for funding. An Online
“Now i will be able to manage Writing Centre Proposal was also completed and has been prepared
my time will studying, i can even for submission for donor funding.
write an essay. And with vuma!
portal my study skills have im-
proved.” VUMA! into 2010
“The amazing thing is that it even Donor funding has to date enabled us to put in place the mechanisms
gives u free lessons on how to be for content development and contribution, and to source appropriate
computer literate, vuma rocks” start-up content for the portal. The ongoing sustainability of the VUMA!
Portal will depend on FOTIM’s ability to obtain donor funding, while the
“Its a wounderful thing for us terti- portal is still in the process of being developed.
ary learners to communicate to
one another, in terms of suc-
In addition, FOTIM will need to focus on sourcing content and develop-
ceeding massive challenges
which arises time to time!” ing facilities that are meaningful and relevant to students and staff in
FOTIM member institutions and beyond.
“Big up Vuma!...you are arguably
one of the most biggest and vital The relevance of the VUMA! Portal will not be realized unless a signifi-
sites in the world and we hope to cant number of users from the institutions start to contribute to its
have a long lasting membership growth. Significant progress has been made in creating and sustaining
with you...!” a growing number of users and interested stakeholders during 2009. The
marketing of the Portal to member institutions has received high priority,
and will need to continue during 2010.
Discussion For a on Critical Themes in Higher Education
In 2009, four discussion sessions took place, three around issues of student accommodation, and one on
orientation programme planning. The feedback from participants was extremely positive and they value
to chance to share challenges and solutions with colleagues at neighboring institutions. These discussions
facilitate the exchange of knowledge and the opportunity to showcase best practice, and create valu-
able networking opportunities for staff.
The first student accommodation discussion took place on 9 June 2009, at the University of the Witwaters-
rand, and was attended by 18 delegates from across the FOTIM region.
Issues discussed were:
• historical overview of the evolution of university residences
• enrolment pressures
• application & enrolment statistics for the past six years
• public/private partnerships – the advantages and pitfalls
• slumlords & slumdogs – the exploitation of student tenants
The second discussion focusing on student accommodation was held on 29 September 2009, at Wits Uni-
versity. The discussion focused on the management of social issues within residence communities. Issues
for discussion included alcohol and substance abuse, pregnancy in residences and death of students, It
led to the formation of a task-team that will research how poverty impacts on the lives of students, and
make recommendations on effective interventions.
The third session, hosted by the University of Pretoria, addressed the following issues:
• poverty research – yes or no
• alcohol and substance management
• internal funding obstacles
The group plans to meet regularly in 2010 to discuss relevant issues and concerns.
Orientation Programme Discussion
A lively discussion on orientation programmes was held on 2 October 2009 at the University of Johannes-
burg. The aim of the session was to share experience, issues, solutions and contingency planning ideas.
Tübingen Cultural Language Programme
Each year FOTIM is invited to select a certain number of students from our region to participate in the
Tübingen Cultural Language Programme. It provides an opportunity for students to travel to the fascinat-
ing and beautiful country of Germany, experience European culture, gain exposure to a different way of
life, and learn about German politics, history, economics and language.
We would like to congratulate the following two students on their selection to participate in the 2010
Tübingen Cultural language Programme:
• Muzikayise Nicholous Mabilane University of Johannesburg
• Khazamula Negroes Maswanganyi University of Venda
FOTIM Annual Report 2009 19
2009 was a successful year in identifying opportunities and opening doors to new challenges in higher
education. In 2010, we look forward meeting these challenges.
FOTIM Annual Financial Statements
FOTIM Annual Report 2009 21
FOTIM Annual Report 2009 23
VUMA Annual Financial Statements
FOTIM Annual Report 2009 25
FOTIM Annual Report 2009 27