23 September 2019 | Story Xolisa Mnukwa | Photo Barend Nagel
Prof Puleng LenkaBula
“I want to establish a paradigm shift from community engagement to engaged scholarship, which will transfer science between communities and form reciprocal collaborations in order to create new knowledge, research niche areas, influences, and support systems to aid innovative and progressive teaching and learning processes at the UFS.” – Prof LenkaBula

The University of the Free State (UFS) Vice-Rector: Institutional Change, Student Affairs, and Community Engagement, Prof Puleng LenkaBula, recently visited the Fulda University of Applied Sciences in Germany to discuss a possible future collaboration between the two institutions.

This was inspired by their multidisciplinary approach to higher-education courses, which she aims to facilitate at the UFS in order to pioneer critical thinking among students to ultimately bring about effective and innovative societal problem-solving in South Africa.

Fulda University is an exceptional higher-education institution with the ability to develop and transform itself to purposefully improve its infrastructure, the quality of students, and studies offered by the university. Their different degrees are structured to intersect with the requirements of the progressive European economic environment.

According to Prof LenkaBula, Fulda University is an outstanding institution specialising in applied sciences and theoretical studies, which set them apart from other universities in the advanced European higher-education system.

Prof LenkaBula believes that the prospect of developing joint master’s and/or doctoral degrees between the UFS and Fulda University would expose UFS students to high-quality international higher-education systems. This will ensure that our students are provided with essential skills to become globally competitive and relevant in their designated career fields, and to become strong contenders in an environment characterised by globalisation and the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR).
She referred to the global exchange of knowledge systems between the UFS and Fulda University as an opportunity for the UFS to improve the university’s global rankings through learning and participating in international collaborative approaches in higher education. 

“In order for our university to cease being seen as an ivory tower, it must be involved in producing knowledge that is beneficial to socio-economic and political development – not only for South Africa, but also for the rest of the world,” said Prof LenkaBula.

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