K E Mokoka, A Mothiba


This article outlines project management in the context of a nursing or other department having acquired external or internal funding for a specific project, which is part of the department and can be integrated into the department’s broader activities. It then illustrates this process by using the University Nursing Education in South Africa (UNEDSA) project.
The UNEDSA programme is a funded initiative to transform nursing scholarship in South Africa with a focus on nurse academics and higher education. After a robust selection process, six university-based schools of nursing at the Universities of Fort Hare (UFH), Free State (UFS), Limpopo - Medunsa campus (UL), Pretoria (UP), Western Cape (UWC) and the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) were selected and received grants of between R14m and R16 m to run projects which will support them in strengthening and transforming academic nursing in university-based nursing schools.
Project management is defined and then described in terms of the factors influencing it, risk management, monitoring and evaluation. The project management of the project in six universities is described in terms of its actions, such as site visits, technical assistance and capacity-building. The pitfalls and challenges are illustrated from the UNEDSA project and the lessons learnt are identified.
Although institutions of higher learning are not businesses and should focus primarily on their academic teaching, learning and research, they must be business-like in the way that they acquire and use their financial, physical and human resources. Acquiring project and programme management skills will ensure that they act in a business-like manner in the way that they manage donor funds.


Project management; monitoring and evaluation; higher education; nursing education

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