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06 November 2019 | Story Legopheng Maphile | Photo Legopheng Maphile
Best assigment winners
At the prize-giving were from the left, front: Christoffel de Lange and Ms Nombulelo Shange (who accepted the prize won by De Haan). Back row, from the left: Prof Neil Heideman, Professor in the Department of Zoology and Entomology; and Betsy Eister, UFS LIS Director.

The University of the Free State Library and Information Services (UFS LIS) is partnering with faculties in acknowledging top-performing students at the university. Together with the Faculties of the Humanities and Natural and Agricultural Sciences, the Best Assignment project was launched – meant to inspire, motivate, and encourage students to put extra effort into producing assignments of high quality.

Legopheng Maphile, Assistant Director: Library Marketing and Community Engagement at UFS LIS, says the project is meant to harness and nurture undergraduate research in line with the university’s research-led vision. 

“There are requirements as to how assignments should be presented. This demonstrates the level of knowledge acquisition and academic writing skills. The library contributes to this activity by training students in library research skills to access scholarly, academic, specialist, and expert information resources to support academic excellence. This is a collaborative practice between the library and academics.

“In 2019, only third-year assignments were considered in a pilot project, and at this stage, students are expected to understand what is required for writing assignments.”

Recognising the effort that students put into their assignments, the UFS LIS, in collaboration with the Departments of Sociology and Zoology and Entomology, recently handed out prizes of R2 500 to deserving students. 

Johandré J de Haan and Christoffel de Lange each received gift vouchers to the value of R1 250, courtesy of Van Schaik and Sherwood Books, in collaboration with Juta and Oxford University Press. De Haan was recognised for his assignment titled Marx and the impact of his theoretical concepts in the South African context and its relevancy and De Lange received a nod for his Differences in Heat Uptake Rate between White and Black Sand-filled Cans of Similar Size. 

Legopheng says going forward, the best undergraduate research assignments will be considered for publication in the Kovsie Undergraduate Research Journal, the library’s open-access journal that is being developed. 

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