Records Management Programs in Higher Learning Institution: Case Study of Nelson Mandela Drive Campus Walter Sisulu University, South Africa

Nozipho Giba-Fosu
International Journal of Community Development and Management Studies  •  Volume 4  •  2020  •  pp. 023-039
Aim/Purpose
The main aim of this study was to investigate the status of records management program at Walter Sisulu University (WSU) using the Nelson Mandela Drive Site of Mthatha Campus as a case study.
Background
For an organization to function effectively, records (both in electronic and paper format) need to be captured, recorded and secured in order to ensure their authenticity, integrity, reliability and accessibility. The core functions of a university are learning, teaching, research and community engagement, and in order to carry out these functions records are created and received. Records therefore, constitute an essential instrument of administration of any institutions without which operational processes and functions cannot be executed (Kendall and Mizra, 2006). Thus, a proper and efficient managing of records is critical to functioning and administration of institutions. Council of Higher Education (2000) pointed out that record-keeping in the higher education institutions in South Africa was inadequate. Effective records management in universities in the Eastern Cape has not been adequately documented. Hence, this study investigates the records management program that exist in WSU. Although legislations regulating the management of records in South Africa exist, they might be ignorance on the part of certain officials entrusted with managing WSU records and that could have adverse effect on the performance of WSU and ultimately on service delivery.
Methodology
This study may have influence in policy formulation and compliance with the judicial directives on records management program of universities. It may also help improve service delivery, by enabling orderly, accountable and efficient management of universities records.
Contribution
This study may have influence in policy formulation and compliance with the judicial directives on records management program of universities. It may also help improve service delivery, by enabling orderly, accountable and efficient management of universities records.
Findings
The major findings of the study revealed WSU fell below the requirements in terms of records management program on maintaining records that document its business activities. Inadequate infrastructure, inadequacy regarding the desirable control of WSU records at each stage as required by the records life cycle framework was also found to be inadequate and limited knowledge of legal requirements regarding records management.
Recommendations for Practitioners
Based on the findings, the following recommendations were made. Effort should be made to implement a Centralized control of Decentralized Registry System (Integrated Registry System), provision of training of staff, as well as proper infrastructural facilities to manage WSU records that document its business activities.
Recommendation for Researchers
There is a need for further studies of this kind in other Universities, Technical and Vocational Education (TVET) Colleges in the Eastern Cape Province in order to establish their practices in managing records that document their business activities.
Impact on Society
The research will assist to highlight to administrators, policy makers of universities that proper records management could help universities to manage their information efficiently, fulfill their mandate, protect them from litigation, preserve their corporate memory, and foster accountability and good governance.
Future Research
A study to check the readiness of institution of higher learning to manage electronic records that documents their business activities in the 21st Century digital era will be vital in this context.
Records management, institution of higher learning, administration, Walter Sisulu University (WSU)
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