Southern African Association for Institutional Research|
/Exco 2022
Exco 20222022-02-09T10:26:57+02:00
Executive Committee 2022







University of the Witwatersrand

Mxolisi Masango is the Head of the Analytics and Institutional Research (AIR) Unit at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits). He holds a PhD degree from the University of Pretoria. Mxolisi started his career as a Researcher at the Agricultural Research Council (ARC), where he spent more than 10 years. During this time, he led multiple research projects, secured several research grants and published numerous peer-reviewed articles in local and internal journals. After leaving the ARC, he joined Wits where he is currently involved in various institutional research activities as well as student success-focused projects. Mxolisi is the Project Leader of the Wits Siyaphumelela project, a Kresge Foundation funded project.




Mangosuthu University of Technology

Ms Liile Lerato Lekena is a Director: Strategic Planning in the Directorate of Institutional Planning and Research (DIPR) at the Mangosuthu University of Technology (MUT). Her main functions involve systematising the processes that enable the university to achieve its goals and objectives. This comprises directing and overseeing the university’s strategic and long term goal planning function and advancing its strategy. She also oversees the execution, monitoring and evaluation of the strategy. In recent history, she worked as an Institutional Researcher and a Quality Advisor. The work in both portfolios involved managing data analytics projects to inform planning, policy development, and decision-making towards institutional effectiveness and efficiency. She also has experience as an Evaluations Consultant, Academic Development Officer as well as being an Academic. She has written, presented and published articles in accredited conferences and journals both nationally and internationally.





SAAIR Office

Carin has served as the Office administrator for many years and comes from a background in Higher Education, having worked at Unisa for some time.

She has extensive experience in office administration, event management and financial management and plays a key role in the functioning of the Association.

Carin lives and works from home in Somerset West.



Conference Chair 2022




Exco Member


University of Cape Town

Current Role: Lisa Cloete is the Quality Assurance Manager in the Institutional Planning Department at UCT. An element of her role that she enjoys most is engaging with faculty staff and working alongside academics in developing practical and effective solutions to challenges that emerge from reviews.

Experience: Lisa has over 16 years of experience in higher education (in both public and private HEIs), with 11 years in HE Management. Amongst other things, she has designed an MIS and reporting system for a Non-governmental Organisation in the higher education sector, has been responsible for policy development as well as the development and implementation of quality assurance systems. In her current role at UCT, she is responsible for institutional reviews (both internal and external) and for ensuring that these lead to meaningful institutional change. She believes that reflective practice, collaboration and authentic engagement on common goals will lead to effective improvement.

Vision for SAAIR: SAAIR plays an invaluable role in creating platforms for HEIs to engage with one another on institutional contexts and challenges. This, in turn, broadens a sector-wide understanding of institutional needs and, enables idea-sharing and collaboration. I believe that by strengthening the relationship between institutional research and quality assurance (through collaboration and engagement) SAAIR could yield valuable insights that will enable the South African HE sector to continue to grow from strength to strength.


Exco Member


Stellenbosch University

Allison Mlitwa is a quality assurance practitioner in the Centre for Academic Planning and Quality Assurance at Stellenbosch University (SU). She has also worked in Institutional Research in the Division for Institutional Research and Planning at Stellenbosch University. Prior to her appointment at SU, she was a research editor in Higher Education textbook publishing. Allison is educated in politics and business. Her current work and scholarship is in higher education with particular focus on academic development. Allison’s interests are in social justice and the economics of education.


Exco Member


University of KwaZulu-Natal

I’m employed as a Manager (Acting) in the Institutional Planning section in the Institutional Planning & Governance Division at UKZN. I have experience in HEMIS, Enrolment planning, Data Quality and in recent years, my focus has been Institutional Planning. I enjoyed working with my colleagues on recent SAAIR initiatives such as the 2020 HEMIS Forum. My vision for SAAIR if elected (in any position) is to support the SAAIR President and executives, to increase the profile of SAAIR in higher education institutions, and to increase collaborations and networking opportunities amongst similarly functioning staff across the various institutions. I would also like to work to devise more capacity building opportunities available for SAAIR members. I hope to serve you all well if elected.

Exco Member


Durban University of Technology

Ashton Maherry was a senior researcher at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research for 12 years, with a focus on water research and spatial data analysis. Thereafter he joined Durban University of Technology in 2017 as part of the General Education team lecturing institutional general education modules. In 2018 he was appointed as the Siyaphumelela Data and Training Officer. He is passionate about building capacity and using data to intervene timeously before students fail. His post grad studies through the School of Adult and Community Education at DUT and is focused on the transformative agency of data analytics in professional practice in Higher Education. Ashton was part of the Local Organising Committee for the SAAIR Conference in 2018, and a Scholarship Recipient for the SAAIR Conference in 2019.

Exco Member


University of the Western Cape

Elizabeth has more than 17 years of experience in the business intelligence and management of information gained from various industries or Sectors. She is a Business Intelligence (BI) Data Scientist Architect in the Office of the Rector & Vice-Chancellor, Institutional Planning Department at the University of the Western Cape (UWC). She is currently responsible for BI development activities and reporting solutions which includes the building of data culture and evidence-based decision making. She works part-time for the University of South Africa (UNISA) on a fixed-term contract as a Quantitative (Numeracy) Literacy Facilitator and Tutor for numerical modules and have been in this role for more than 11 years. In this role she facilitate students learning experience and support them through their academic transition in the open distance e-learning environment. She is part of the new cohort of Siyaphumelela Student Success Coaches. In this role she assist universities to build institutional capacity to collect and analyze student data and integrate it with institutional research, information technology systems, academic development, planning and academic divisions within their institutions to increase student success. Her passion and interests include the use of structured and unstructured data to improve business process, business reputation, return on investment, business optimisation, students learning experiences and student success. Her research interest is in Student Access & Success, Student Transition, Instructional pedagogies, Learning Experience, Educational Data Mining, Learning style, Blended learning, Business Intelligence, Statistics, and Data mining.

Exco Member


University of the Free State

Mathole Macwele holds a research-based Master’s degree in Social Science (Political Science) and is currently enrolled for a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Education with specialisation in Higher Education Studies at the University of the Free State (UFS). Currently, he is the Institutional Researcher in the Monitoring and Institutional Research (MIR) unit within the Directorate for Institutional Research and Academic Planning (DIRAP) at the UFS. His scope of work includes coordinating various institutional research projects. He has presented and attended many conferences locally and internationally. His current research interest includes student success, environmental scanning, and institutional surveys, just to name a few.


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