19 February 2018 Photo Earl Coetzee
Faculty of Health Sciences welcomes new Vice-Dean Prof Joyce Tsoka-Gwegweni
Prof Joyce Tsoka-Gwegweni, Vice-Dean for Research, Transformation, and Marketing in the Faculty of Health Sciences.

The Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of the Free State is proud to introduce the new Vice-Dean for Research, Transformation, and Marketing – Prof Joyce Tsoka-Gwegweni. This seasoned academic has 24 years of health science research experience and holds a PhD (University of KwaZulu-Natal), two master’s degrees (MSc from the University of Natal; MPH from the University of the Western Cape), two honours degrees (BSc Hons from the University of Reading; BA Hons from the University of South Africa) and management diplomas and certificates from reputable local and international institutions (University for Durham, University of Stellenbosch, UKZN, Unisa). She has also published more than 50 papers and held various high-profile leadership positions.

Prof Tsoka-Gwegweni joined the UFS on 1 February 2018.

“I think I am at the right place,
at the right time, for the right
reasons. I do not regret choosing
the UFS.”

A born academic
“I went for a scholarship interview with the British Council in 1987, and they asked me what job I’d like after studying,” Prof Tsoka-Gwegweni remembers. “I told the interview panel that I planned to work at the university!” She studied for A-levels, a junior degree and postgraduate qualifications in the UK, and further postgraduate studies in South Africa.

No place like home

Having experienced various locations around the world, South Africa remains her favourite. “I won’t trade the beautiful weather and nature, or the friendly atmosphere and people for anything from abroad,” she says. “But had I not gone to the UK, I would not have learnt to appreciate South Africa as my country.”

Big plans for Health Science research
Prof Tsoka-Gwegweni hopes for an adequate health workforce for South Africa, which is competent, committed and caring. In the Faculty of Health Sciences, she hopes to drive research by providing research leadership. “I would like to encourage the staff to enjoy research and not see it as a burden. My ambition is to improve our research profile towards a top research faculty.”

At peace in the City of Roses
Off campus, Prof Tsoka-Gwegweni enjoys going to church, listening to gospel music and going to concerts, reading, travelling, and nature. “I’m looking forward to having a great and rewarding time in Bloemfontein. But more importantly, to make a positive impact,” she says, “no matter how small. I think I am at the right place, at the right time, for the right reasons. I do not regret choosing the UFS.”


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