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21 May 2019 | Story Thabo Kessah | Photo Ian van Straaten
Dr Thandi Gumede
Dr Thandi Gumede graduated with a PhD in Polymer Science. She is from Intabazwe, Harrismith.

The Qwaqwa Campus of the University of the Free State was a hive of activity on 17 and 18 May 2019, when over 800 degrees, diplomas, and certificates were conferred on deserving achievers. These included six PhDs and 14 master’s degrees across the four faculties.

Congratulating the graduates on both days, was Africa’s youngest PhD and Industrial Psychology lecturer, Dr Musawenkosi Saurombe, and Prof Francis Petersen, Rector and Vice-Chancellor.

Be like heat

Dr Saurombe started her address by relating her school journey that saw her starting Grade 1 at age 5, thus later matriculating at the age of 15, having skipped Grades 3 and 10. She went on to emphasise the importance of building an honourable character.

“As a graduate, you will soon realise that your degree is useless if you do not have character,” she said to an attentive audience that continued to marvel at her remarkable school history. She encouraged graduates to be like heat that cannot be seen but can only be felt. “Noise can often be seen and heard, but it cannot be felt. However, while heat cannot always be seen, it is always felt. Be like heat and may your presence always be felt,” she said.

Do not focus on yourself

Prof Francis Petersen also encouraged graduates to look beyond their degrees by developing a set of critical values.
 
“For us as the university, this ceremony is not just about your degrees. It is about the values that you must live by,” he said. “As a graduate of the UFS, do not just believe what you are told. Ask questions and engage critically. Secondly, do not just focus on yourself. Remember that you are part of a community and it is your responsibility to make our world a better place for others. You need to be socially responsive to the needs of your community. Thirdly, remember that integrity plays a very important role. This will determine how others value you,” he said.

The two ceremonies also saw three current SRC members graduating. They are Lebohang Miya (BEd FET – Accounting and Business Studies), Duduzile Mhlongo (BA – Geography and isiZulu), and Mhlongo Sinemfundo (BA – Geography and isiZulu).

News Archive

Business School in top ranks of survey
2012-02-15

 
UFS Business School
Photo: Liezl Muller

The UFS Business School was ranked amongst the top business schools in South Africa in a survey by Finweek and MBAConnect.net. MBAConnect.net is the biggest social network for MBA graduates in South Africa. 

More than 10 000 MBA graduates and students were invited to take part in the survey and 1 575 of them completed it. More than half of the respondents are in senior or executive positions.
 
Prof. Helena van Zyl, the Director of the UFS Business School, says any business school has a moral obligation towards its alumni to ensure that the quality of the qualification that they obtained is maintained, that network opportunities are created for graduates, and that job opportunities are communicated, etc. Investment in and involvement with the alumni are non-negotiable as they form the backbone of a business school.
 
The UFS Business School’s results are listed below. The respondents rated the school as the school with the highest:
  • percentage of respondents saying they had definitely made the right choice in doing an MBA: second with 92% (average 86%)
  • score in leadership effectiveness: third with 8.9 (average 8.7)
  • decision-making effectiveness: shares first place with 9.4 (average 9.1)
  • credibility in business: second with 8.9 (average 8.6)
  • impact of an MBA in changing industries: third with 8.3 (average 7.9)
  • score for influence of an MBA in starting your own business: second with 8.5 (average 6.9)
  • percentage of respondents saying an MBA was definitely worth the price paid: shares first place with 80% (average 72%)
  • score for changing the outlook of students: shares first place with 9.3 (average 8.9)
  • score for improving people’s views of their own potential: shares first place with 9.5 (average 9.1)
  • score for helping people become better leaders in their personal lives: shares third place with 8.3 (average 7.8).
The UFS Business School shared first place with its alumni averaging the shortest payback period amongst those who thought the MBA was worth it. Its score was 1.1 years (average 1.8 years)
 
The report says across all schools, at least 73% of students report a negative impact on their stress levels. In the worst case, this goes up to 94%. The impact on the UFS’s students was the lowest at 18%. The average was 81%. At least a quarter of students in all schools report a negative impact on their health, and it goes up to 47% in the worst case. The UFS got 0 (nil) in the category for serious impact.
 
Alumni of the UFS Business School were very satisfied with the school. These results are as follows:
  • Helps keep business knowledge up to date: third (6.5)
  • Provides networking opportunities: first (7.3)
  • Informs about business events: second (8.9)
  • Communicates regularly: first (9.2)
  • Helps access MBA-level jobs: second (6.2)
  • Helps build personal brand: first (5.2)
  • Helps start or grow business: first (5.2)
 

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