30 November 2022

Dr Makola says when the government announced the establishment of two new post-apartheid universities back in 2013, he identified with the broader vision and goals of producing skilled and knowledgeable graduates, with the capacity and capabilities to transform their own and immediate families’ lives and the livelihood of the society at large.

“As a transformation agent myself, I yearned to be part of the implementation of this plan such that in 2015 when this position I am currently occupying was first advertised, I applied for it with the intention of making an impact. Seven years down the line, all in God’s timing, here am I as a founding Director of this division.”

Dr Makola’s area of interest and research is the transformation of higher education through the development and implementation of QMS for the Higher Education Institutions’ support services sector and the Integration of Planning and Resource Allocation with Quality Management.

“In higher education, we usually talk about rebuilding our institutions;, redefining missions, values and attitudes;, changing unwanted cultures and practices, and so forth. However, in this instance it’s a totally different narrative because we are building a new centre of excellence that is fit for purpose that responds directly to the national policy imperatives,” he explains, adding that being part of UMP affords him the opportunity to be part of the history-making process.

I’m afforded the privilege to participate in laying a brick or two in the construction of the foundational systems with an opportunity of inculcating quality in each component of the student value chain. I can already sense that I am within a particular group of people who constitute a team that is intentional about the embodiment embedding of values that translate to and influence the quality of engagement and practice at all institutional levels towards the attainment of the desired graduate attributes, thus changing lives of our young citizens,” he says.

UMP Dr Makola wants to contribute positively to UMP's growth.

“Our strategic imperatives and goals, as outlined in our plan of action, inform our operational and tactical planning. I am looking forward to working with the university community by assisting, and where necessary, guiding in the development, and - monitoring, and reviewing the implementation of such plans, particularly for the academic enterprise.

This will help us remain true to our mandate, stay in our lane and in check, yet being flexible whilst continuing to improve the quality of the service we render to our major stakeholders – the students, also reminding ourselves that each activity’s output in the student value chain – from application to graduatedgraduation– becomes an input of the next activity and invariably its quality impacts the whole value chain.

“This means that everyone is everyone’s customer, thus making the quality assurance of all our activities everyone’s responsibility. I’m looking forward to assisting in us in building entrenching quality management mechanisms into all our activities quality management mechanisms so that we ‘do it right the first time’ – all aimed at the realisation of our plans and the attainment of our strategic goals,” he explains.

Before joining UMP, Dr Makola was employed at the University of the Western Cape (UWC) as Director: Quality Assurance and Information Management from March 2019 to October 2022.

His other roles include being with the with Walter Sisulu University (WSU) for 21 years, of which the last 14 years he served as the Quality Assurance Manager and where he was hailed at the pioneer of the development of the university’s Quality Management Systems (QMS). He also served in various statutory structures at WSU.

He graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration from Andrews University (Michigan, USA), Bachelor of Business & Administration Hons and Master of Business Administration from the University of Stellenbosch Business School. He also holds a PhD in Quality Management from the Durban University of Technology (DUT).

Dr Makola is a registered Assessor and Moderator with the Education, Training and Development Practices Sector Education and Training Authority (ETDP SETA), and also a member of the SA Society for Quality (SASQ) and serves as the Deputy Chairperson of its Quality Assurance Practitioners in Education (QAPE) Scheme

He has served at the National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) in Namibia as a Quality Assurance Expert Panellist for University of Namibia New Programmes Review and at the Council on Higher Education (CHE) in South Africa as an External Expert Panellist for Institutional Audits.

@ Story by Lisa Thabethe. Pictures Supplied.