Original Research

Corporate governance effectiveness and value added at South African higher education institutions: A registrar’s view

Karin Barac, Ben Marx
Journal of Economic and Financial Sciences | Vol 5, No 2 | a289 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jef.v5i2.289 | © 2018 Karin Barac, Ben Marx | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 28 June 2018 | Published: 31 October 2012

About the author(s)

Karin Barac, Department of Auditing, University of South Africa, South Africa
Ben Marx, Department of Accountancy, University of Johannesburg, South Africa

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Higher education institutions are faced with many challenges in fulfilling their core mandate of teaching, research and community engagement. To achieve this, strong, sound and visionary institutional leadership is required, which should be embedded in sound corporate governance practices. The study aims to ascertain what registrars’ views on the effectiveness and value added by current corporate governance practices of higher education institutions (HEIs) in South Africa are. This was done through a literature review and supported by empirical evidence obtained from questionnaires addressed to registrars of public HEIs in South Africa, as well as follow up interviews held with participants. The study found strong support for sound corporate governance practices at HEIs in South Africa, and also indicates that these institutions are complying with and adhering to this, although room for improvement exists in certain areas. The value added to and contributions to corporate governance effectiveness by student representative council members and institutional forums were also investigated, and it was found that the evolving corporate governance role of the registrar, over and above the traditional academic and student affairs responsibilities, enjoyed much support. Additional reporting responsibilities, in accordance with current corporate governance developments, were identified as areas not meeting expectations.


corporate governance; higher education; higher education institutions; university councils; university registrar; higher education governance


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