Monday, August 28, 2017

Key Highlights From The CAO AGM

We want to turn dreams into reality!

The Central Applications Office (CAO) processes applications of all first-time entry level undergraduate candidates to KwaZulu-Natal’s four public universities, three TVET colleges and 13 private colleges.

Members of the CAO Board with guest speaker Devi-Sankaree Govender - Image: Abhi Indrarajan

They held their AGM recently at the Hilton Hotel in Durban and these were some of the highlights:
George van der Ross, the CEO of CAO gave us insight into the new Short Course Training they are now offering for Corporates and the Education Sector.  

They will also be giving courses on the new POPI Act.
4th September 2017 – The POPI Act for Executives
5th- 6th September 2017 – Impact of POPI Act on Academic Staff
7th – 8th September 2017 – Impact of POPI Act on HR Administrators
11th – 12th September 2017 – Impact of POPI Act on Academic Administration
13th – 14th September 2017 – Impact of POPI Act on Legal, Finance and Supply Chain Administrators

Call: +27 (0) 31 268 44 44
Physical Address:  Gate 11, Mary Thiphe Street (Cato Manor Road), Durban.

The keynote speaker for the event was Devi-Sankaree Govender from Carte Blanche.
‘From early on I bucked the system,’ shared Ms Govender. She sent her CV everywhere.
‘When you are a talk show host you have to think out of the box,’ noted Ms Govender.
She describes a day on a Carte Blanche shoot as always involving drama.

George van der Ross gave us an inspiring talk into what education and the selection of students really means.
‘How do we select our students?’ asked Mr van der Ross.
‘What do we know about the students we are selecting?’ asked Mr van der Ross.
‘Do we know how prepared or ready our students are for post school studies?’ queried Mr van der Ross.
When you apply to a university they normally want you to write an essay, this is because they want to know more about you.
Mr van der Ross also shared some key statistics in education:
Approximately 30% of students drop out in the 1st year.
‘Under 5% of African and Coloured youth succeed in higher education,’ said Mr van der Ross.
‘Turning the tide must be central,’ emphasised Mr van der Ross.
‘What are we doing about it?’ he asked.
‘Learners are migrating from rural areas to affluent areas. More students from better resourced schools are getting into university,’ noted Mr van der Ross.

He shared some key recommendations:
‘We need to forge more meaningful long term partnerships with schools to create more visible access to pathways from high school to university.  We need to assist with decisions about courses of study much earlier at point of registration. We want to turn dreams into reality. What are we doing as an institution to promote access? Universities need to develop much more understanding on who these students are and what they can and cannot do,’ said Mr van der Ross.

Amongst the talks there was also some wonderful cultural dances to make the AGM come alive.

The next AGM is scheduled for 22 August 2018.

For more info visit:

This edition by Fred Felton | Twitter @fredfelton