25 June 2021 | Story Lacea Loader | Photo Supplied
Mr Temba Hlasho, Executive Director of Student Affairs.

The Council of the University of the Free State (UFS) approved the appointment of Mr Temba Hlasho as Executive Director: Student Affairs for a five-year term. Mr Hlasho will assume duty on 1 July 2021. 

Extensive experience in the student affairs environment

Mr Hlasho was the Dean of Students at the University of Zululand, since 1 November 2019. Before that, he was Director: Student Affairs on the UFS Qwaqwa Campus. His career in higher education spans 25 years, beginning at the then Port Elizabeth Technikon as Head of a student residence in the 1980s. Before being appointed as the Head of Residences at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology in 2014, he was the Director of Student Residences at the Vaal University of Technology. He completed a BCom degree at Vista University in 1994 before qualifying with an MPhil from the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in 2006. Currently, he is pursuing a doctoral degree in sport sciences. 

“Mr Hlasho has valuable experience in leading and providing strategic direction to student service divisions and has developed, reviewed, and implemented departmental strategies. He worked in senior management and interacted to a large extent with student structures and the Student Representative Council, through which he gained appropriate experience to understand student dynamics, intersectionalities, and the complexities of the higher-education sector,” says Prof Francis Petersen, UFS Rector and Vice-Chancellor. 

Vision for Student Affairs at the UFS

Mr Hlasho’s vision includes enabling and supporting learning and living environments, professionalising Student Affairs, promoting and ensuring social justice, social cohesion, and critical diversity, strengthening student governance and engagement for academic success, and the alignment of funding to prioritised activities that support the academic project. “These are all critical areas that will ensure the establishment of a productive and transformative environment for an excellent student experience,” says Prof Petersen.

“My goal is to build open dialogue relationships with student bodies to better understand their plight, which will then be used as a leveller for enhanced positive working partnerships with colleagues in finding effective student solutions. I look forward to joining the UFS and to further develop the Student Affairs portfolio,” says Mr Hlasho. 

Mr Hlasho holds a 5th Dan black belt in judo and is an executive member and current President of Judo South Africa. 

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