Southern African Association for Institutional Research|
/Exco 2023
Exco 20232022-12-14T13:59:16+02:00
Executive Committee 2023






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.





University of the Western Cape

Elizabeth has been a Business Intelligence (BI) Data Architect/BI Lead in the Office of the Rector & Vice-Chancellor, Institutional Planning Department at the University of the Western Cape (UWC) since October 2017. She has more than 21 years of extensive experience in the business intelligence and management of information gained from various industries or sectors, including more than eight years in Higher Education. At UWC, she is responsible for building business intelligence capabilities and capacity, including institutional culture change towards a data-informed and evidence-based decision-making institution. She is part of the first-generation Siyaphumelela (We Succeed) Student Success Coaches in South Africa. In this role, she provides guidance and support to universities to build institutional capacity to collect and analyse student data and integrate it with institutional research, information technology systems, academic development, planning and academic divisions within their institutions to increase student success and improve student outcomes. She is passionate about helping, supporting and developing others (Capacity development) and forging purposeful relationships with all stakeholders. She is a committed data specialist and aspiring researcher who inspires and leads positive changes to support the best possible experience for everyone she engages with. She was co-opted into the SAAIR EXCO 2021/2022 to manage the Learner Analytics Institute and SAAIR Learning Analytics Special Interest Group (Launched in April 2022).




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 2023

Ms René Robbertze

Stellenbosch University

René Robbertze is a Senior Business Intelligence Analyst in the Centre for Institutional Information in the Division for Information Governance at Stellenbosch University since 2021. Her daily activities include being a HEMIS officer, submitting data to the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) in South Africa, and other statutory reporting, data analysis, analysing university data (and national data), and building dashboards in Excel and Power BI for management. She has experience working on World University Rankings; and handles data requests from within and outside the university. Before 2021 she worked as an Institutional Research and Planning Office at the division since 2016. René was a lecturer in the Department of Information Sciences from 2010 until 2016 where she taught Information Skills. She has a Master’s degree in Socio-Informatics (cum laude), BA (Hons) in Socio-Informatics, and a BA Socio-Informatics degree all from Stellenbosch University. René is also a Microsoft Office Specialist in MS Word and Excel and has been presenting workshops for postgraduate students and staff for more than ten years at the university.

Exco Member


University of Cape Town

Lisa Cloete is the Quality Assurance Manager in the Institutional Planning Department at UCT. The most rewarding part of her role is engaging with faculty staff and working alongside academics in developing practical and effective solutions to challenges that departments grapple with.

Lisa has 18 years of experience in higher education (in both private & public HEIs), with 12 years in HE management. She holds the view that reflective practice, collaboration and authentic engagement on common goals are a key part of the quality improvement journey.

She believes that SAAIR plays an invaluable role in creating platforms for HEIs to engage with one another and collectively explore solutions to challenges in the sector. This, in turn, broadens a sector-wide understanding of institutional needs and enables idea-sharing, as well as collaboration.


Exco Member


Ubuntu Higher Education Research Centre

Taabo Mugume is the Director of Ubuntu Higher Education Research Centre and a former Assistant Director for Institutional Research in the Directorate for Institutional Research and Academic Planning (DIRAP) at the University of the Free State, South Africa. His research interests include student politics, student experience, university governance, university culture(s) and decolonization. Taabo has been working with the outgoing SAAIR President and EXCO to establish a journal for institutional research. Furthermore, he is co-guest editing a special issue publishing papers presented in the 2021 SAAIR Conference. The special issue is being published by the Journal of Perspectives in Education (PiE) and will come out in March 2023.


Exco Member



Ashton is a Programme Specialist with Saide, having joined Saide in October 2022.  Ashton 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. In 2022 he joined Saide as a Programme Specialist. He is passionate about building capacity and using data to intervene timeously before students fail. Ashton was part of the Local Organising Committee for the SAAIR Conference in 2018, a SAAIR Scholarship Recipient for the SAAIR Conference in 2019, and a SAAIR EXCO member for 2021-2022.
Conference in 2019.

Exco Member


University of Johannesburg

Takalani Muloiwa is an Institutional Researcher in the Division for Institutional Planning, Evaluation and Monitoring at the University of Johannesburg. She holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Business Administration and a Masters in Demography and Population Studies. She has experience working on World University Rankings, conducting university benchmarking exercises, leading student experience surveys, and coordinating university partnerships. Takalani has presented at various meetings including the SAAIR Institutional Research Institute, the SANRC First Year Experience Conference, the South African Monitoring and Evaluation Association Conference and the African Research University Alliance Benchmarking Workshop. She is also responsible for driving SAAIR’s social media footprint on Twitter and Facebook. Takalani is a data viz enthusiast who is passionate about driving evidence-informed decision-making within the university.

Exco Member


Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University

Ben is currently employed as an Institutional Researcher in the Institutional Planning and Quality Assurance (IPQA) department at Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University (SMU). He has 12 years of research experience, including over 8 years in Higher Education (HE). Ben’s key performance areas include conducting impact studies and institutional surveys, as well as creating quarterly performance, annual, and DHET reports for SMU. Since 2013, he has been a member of SAAIR, where he has also facilitated workshops and presented papers focusing on student success. In 2017, the SAAIR Executive Committee offered him a scholarship to attend and present at the SAAIR’s conference hosted by Namibia University of Science and Technology in Windhoek. He also co-authored Chapter 7 of the book “Utilisation of South African Research on Higher Education,” which was virtually launched at the 2021 SAAIR Annual Conference. Ben is currently pursuing a PhD at the University of Pretoria. He also enjoys playing volleyball.

Co-opted Exco Member


University of Pretoria

Dr. Mxolisi Masango, the previous President of the Southern African Association for
Institutional Research (SAAIR). He is a research specialist with extensive experience in
institutional research studies in the higher education sector. Dr. Masango holds a PhD from
the University of Pretoria (UP). He is currently the Deputy-Director for the
Department of Institutional Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation at UP. His role involves
conceptualising and leading institutional research, market surveys and research/planning
projects to enhance decision-making and providing strategic support services to UP’s
executive management, just to mention a few. Before joining UP, he was the Head of
Analytics and Institutional Research Unit at Wits where he successfully led and executed
the Wits Graduate Employability Surveys, Student Mental Health Project, Wits Institutional
Culture Survey, among other institutional studies. He has published peer-reviewed articles
on higher education research, presented at various national and international conferences.


Co-opted Exco Member 



Angelo Fynn is an institutional researcher at the University of South Africa. Angelo has 12 years experience in researching the various aspects of teaching and learning in higher education. He lectured in psychology at the University of South Africa from 2010-2018 when he moved to the Department of Institutional Intelligence as an institutional researcher. He is passionate about student success and focuses on the role institutions play in enabling or inhibiting student success in higher education.


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