30 October 2018 | Story UFS | Photo Charl Devenish
Winners in the master’s and doctoral categories. From left: V Mbali, N Viljoen, T Tipih, L Ralebese, and E Bonnet.



The Postgraduate Student Council (PGSC), in collaboration with the Postgraduate School (PGS), hosted its first annual Postgraduate Academic Conference on the Bloemfontein Campus. 

In line with the vision and mission of the PGSC, the conference serves as a platform for master’s and doctoral students in various study areas to present their research to the broader UFS postgraduate community and academic staff. The PGSC envisions a socially responsible postgraduate community through the promotion of research and academic excellence.

“The Postgraduate Student Council as a structure aims to empower, inspire, and create a platform for students to have a positive postgraduate experience,” said Prof Witness Mudzi, the Director of the Postgraduate School. This conference is instrumental in demonstrating postgraduate students’ competence in research. Through this initiative, participants obtain valuable feedback that can be used to improve their research. They are also equipped with academic presentation skills needed for local and international conferences.

A panel of judges and members of the audience were given a chance to ask questions to each participant, based on their presentations. The judging panel then deliberated, and winners were chosen from both master’s and PhD categories. 

Winners at the conference:

Group I:

Master’s: E Bonnet – The development and validation of a reverse transcription recombinase polymerase amplification assay for detection of flavivirus in South Africa

• PhD: N Viljoen – Non-structural Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever virus protein prevents immune activation

            T Tipih: Immunogenicity of Sindbis-based replicons for Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever virus

Group II

Master’s: V Mbali – The mining charter as an effective mechanism for the realisation of the socio-economic goals outlined in section 2 of the South African Competition Act

PhD: R Ralebese – Integrated curriculum in Lesotho: Exploring primary school teachers’ classroom instructional and assessment practices

In closing, the chairperson of the PGSC, Seithati Ramonaheng, said, “The first annual Postgraduate Academic Conference is an initiative to create a platform for upcoming academia to educate others about their research. We anticipate that it will attract more attention in the 2019 academic year.”

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