Follow the link for the Global Leadership Programme Summary July 2018 
Follow the link for the Global Leadership Summit General Information

GLS Cover image Collage

The University of the Free State (UFS) hosts the Global Leadership Summit (GLS) every three years in Bloemfontein, South Africa. The programme focuses on bringing students and staff from the UFS and its partner universities together. The aim is to discuss shared objectives in the field of leadership and social justice in higher education and the global community.

The 2018 GLS is a collaborative project between the Department of Student Affairs, the Institute for Reconciliation and Social Justice, and the Office for International Affairs at the UFS. The event takes place from 8 to 15 July 2018 on the UFS Bloemfontein Campus.

The 2018 version of the GLS will once again probe deeply into the challenges and opportunities prevalent among all the higher-education institutions attending the event. The topics and discussions will be of interest to undergraduate and postgraduate students as well as staff members from the institutions listed below:

  • African SADC Countries: The University of the Free State; Central University of Technology; Sol Plaatje University; Stellenbosch University; Nelson Mandela University; University of Venda, The National University of Lesotho and the University of Zambia
  • Asia: The International Christian University (Japan); Mahasarakham University (Thailand)
  • The EU: The University of Humanistic Studies (the Netherlands); Amsterdam University College (AUC; the Netherlands); University of Antwerp (Belgium); Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU; the Netherlands)
  • USA: New York University; Mount Holyoke College; Edmonds Community College
2018 GLS objectives
  • The GLS aims to be a collaborative learning event where thinkers, students, and staff from Africa, the EU, Asia, and the USA will explore the meaning of social justice and social inclusion in higher education and society. A variety of speakers will engage with these issues and will propose possible practical interventions.
  • Pink, Globe, ImageThe GLS strives to be a platform for students and staff to discuss the development of new programmes, projects, and research areas in the field of comparative global leadership, with specific reference to social inclusion and social justice. The development of competencies related to global intercultural development will also receive attention.


Developing global youth leaders for an increasingly complex world

Increased focus is being placed on institutions of higher education to produce citizens who are skilled and agile in both understanding and ability to work critically with common global challenges. GLS 2018 places its focus on creating substantive collaboration with African and global institutions. The collaboration is aimed at modalities capable of developing students to function effectively in an increasingly interdependent and complex world, further providing space for these modalities to be researched, implemented, and evaluated. Intercultural competencies, including the ability to view challenging issues from various perspectives, as well as the ability to approach social challenges with insight and appreciation, spanning cultural, historical, religious, linguistic, and political angles, for example, are high on the agenda of topics for exploration and discussion.

2018 Programme

The 2018 Summit theme of Comparative Global Leadership: Social Inclusion, Social Justice will be explored through seven key areas. These are:

It is envisaged that students and staff members will gain deeper conceptual and operational insight into these thematic areas in the course of the summit. In this way, a new programme of collaborative thinking and practice involving various universities can take shape. 


Global Leadership Summit Coordinator
René Pelser
T: +27 51 401 9087

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