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Professor Witness Mudzi

Duties: Director

Background Information and Future Prospects

Prof Witness Mudzi joined the University of the Free State’s Postgraduate School (PGS) as Director from the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) in September 2017. He has been involved with Higher Education for over 20 years. He was involved with postgraduate coordination and teaching and served on many postgraduate-related committees while at the University of the Witwatersrand where he worked for almost 14 years. Prof Mudzi has authored more than 27 articles in peer-reviewed journals and has supervised many master's and PhD students to completion of their studies.

Prof Mudzi has a BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy from the University of Zimbabwe, and a MSc Physiotherapy and PhD both from the University of the Witwatersrand. He is currently the President of the South African Society of Physiotherapy, a position he will hold until September 2019.

His vision for the Postgraduate School is for it to be the driving force for policy-making for postgraduate studies at the University of the Free State. He wants to help create an enabling environment for postgraduate students that will improve not only the student throughput but also the resultant publications from postgraduate student research. Prof Mudzi believes that this process should be achieved through teamwork by all university structures and stakeholders and that the process should be informed by clear policies, evidence and sound management practices.

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Danila Liebenberg

Duties: Assistant Director
Background Information and Future Prospects
Ms Liebenberg supports and assists with the planning of the Research Capacity Development Program; the Postgraduate Academic Writing component; the Graduate Research Management Program; the UFS and national Three-Minute Thesis (3MT) competition; UFS postgraduate policies, guidelines, procedures, and reports, as well as the general functioning of the Postgraduate School. She facilitates workshops for the PGS on Microsoft Assisted Research, the EvaSys survey platform, Plagiarism, and Turnitin.

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Dr Emmie Smit

Duties: Academic Writing and Research Centre

Background Information and Future Prospects

Dr Emmie Smit was appointed as the Head for Academic Writing in 2017. She completed a PhD, two postdoctoral studies in Higher Education (one at Aarhus University, Denmark, and the other at the UFS), two master's qualifications (one in Drama and Theatre Arts Management, and the other in Urban and Regional Planning), a Postgraduate Diploma in Arts and Cultural Management, as well as a National Diploma in Project Management.

She has been employed at the UFS over the past decade, and has lectured and supported at the Department of Drama and Theatre Arts, the then Centre of Higher Education Studies and Development (CHESD), the School of Higher Education Studies (SHES), as well as the PGS. She has managed the Wynand Mouton Theatre, and has served on the National Arts Council Funding Committee and the Postgraduate Forum for Southern Africa. She administered Perspectives in Education (PiE) and has researched, presented, and published in the higher education sector.


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Naomi Haupt

Duties: Monitoring and Evaluation

Background Information and Future Prospects

Ms Haupt is responsible for this portfolio that was created for the sole purpose of monitoring and evaluating the activities of the Postgraduate School. This includes monitoring and evaluating the Researcher Capacity Development workshops and their effectiveness. The need for delivery of results in academia motivated this position, since the PGS is expected to deliver ongoing outcomes focused on enhancing efficacy with limited resources.  

She joined the Postgraduate School at the end of 2012. During the period of 2006 to 2012, she was part of UDRAW (Unit for the Development of Rhetorical and Academic Writing) at the UFS. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Environmental Anthropology at the University of the Free State.


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Katleho Nyaile

Duties: Postgraduate Student Tracking: Systems

Background Information

Mr Nyaile’s primary role is focused on the Postgraduate Student Tacking portfolio at the PGS. His secondary roles include serving on the UFS Staff Study Support Grant Committee and the UFS Tuition Fee Bursary Committee.  

He has an undergraduate degree in Human Resource Management, an Honours degree in Psychology, and he is concluding his master’s degree in psychology (UFS). He is a dynamic individual with a zest for life and a never-ending willingness to learn. He sees creative problem-solving, leadership, and innovation as the core pillars of his professional career.

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Nyakallo Nketsi

Duties: Graduate Research Management

Background Information

Ms Nketsi is responsible for rolling out the Graduate Research Management system that is used to track, monitor, and evaluate the research journey of all postgraduate students at UFS.

She previously worked at the Centre for Teaching and Learning (CTL), where she was responsible for assisting students and academic staff with using the Questionmark system for online assessments.

She holds a degree in Information Technology (from UFS), and is passionate about online management systems, as she believes that they are essential in higher education.

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Tshepiso Molaba

Duties: Research Capacity Development Program

Background Information and Future Prospects 

Ms Molaba joined the PGS in June 2016 as a coordinator of the Researcher Capacity Development Programme. Her duties include coordinating workshops for the programme so as to incorporate content for the academic support of postgraduate students.

She has a BSc and BSc Hons degree from the UFS, as well as an MSc from the Nelson Mandela University. She has previously worked as a master's student researcher at the CSIR from August 2013 to June 2016.


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Pinky Motlhabane

Duties: Postgraduate Funding (Honours)

Background Information and Future Prospects

Ms Motlhabane works as an Officer for Postgraduate Funding. Her roles include the handling of enquiries for NRF and UFS Honours Bursaries, as well as record-keeping and coordination of this funding.

She has worked as a student assistant in the UFS Rector’s office in 2013, and then completed an internship programme with the UFS Department of Human Resources in 2014. In February 2015, she joined the PGS, where she was responsible for assisting with the coordination of the Researcher Development Capacity Programme. She is currently enrolled for a master's degree.


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Kamogelo Dithebe

Duties: Marketing and Communications

Background Information and Future Prospects

Ms Dithebe joined the Postgraduate School in March 2017 and is currently working with the Marketing and Communications portfolio for the school.

She completed a BSc and BSc Hons Botany qualification at the University of the Free State. She has served in the Postgraduate Student Council as the Head of Media and Marketing (2014/2015) and subsequently as the Chairperson for the 2015/2016 term. She is passionate about serving and working with students.

She is currently pursuing her studies in Disaster Management, with the aim of conducting research that will have a critical social impact. She is an academic at heart, with a passion towards transferring knowledge and developing others. She has also occupied the ex-officio position on the Postgraduate Student Council (PGSC), where she serves the role of mentoring the PGSC of both the Qwaqwa and Bloemfontein Campuses.


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Bandile Kati

Duties: Finances

Background Information and Future Prospects

Mr Kati is responsible for the finances of the Postgraduate School and also administers staff support grants to enable staff to complete postgraduate degrees.  

He holds a Bachelor of Technology qualification in Cost and Management Accounting, as well as a National Diploma in Financial Information Systems, both of which he acquired from Durban University of Technology. He is passionate about investments and project management as a field.


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Cecilia Rabanye

Duties: Reception

Background Information and Future Prospects

Ms Rabanye manages the reception at the Postgraduate School. Her duties include handling enquiries and service requests, record-keeping, and the capturing of data.

She moved over to the PGS from UDRAW. Going forward, she will be continuing with her BA degree and hopes to pursue an honours degree in the near future. She is eager and open to new learning experiences, especially within the postgraduate environment.


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